Terrace Search and Rescue crews being briefed by White River Helicopters owner/pilot Sid Peltier Dec. 14.

Renewed search for Red Deer man in river unsuccessful

Volunteers for Terrace Search and Rescue spent a day searching for Dustin Steele who went missing in the Copper Flats area Nov. 1.

Terrace Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteers resumed their search efforts for Dustin Steele last weekend.

Dustin Steele, 23, was last seen on November 1 at approximately 9 p.m. in the Copper Flats area, when a truck he and two friends were in was driven into the river and became caught in the current, reported Terrace RCMP Nov. 3.

Two of the men made it to shore and Dustin was last seen in the back of the floating truck heading downstream on the Skeena River, said police at that time.

Search and rescue volunteers and many individuals went out for many days afterward looking for Steele.

On Dec. 14, 13 volunteers conducted five different search assignments on the Skeena River.

The teams focused on searching the shoreline and shallow water areas, which have a high probability of the subject being in the area, said Terrace SAR member Dwayne Sheppard Dec. 15.

“We looked in areas where Steele may have floated either on the surface or submerged,” said Sheppard.

“The water levels may continue to drop but we took advantage of the mild weather to get into the water before it freezes again.”

Sheppard said some clues were found several hundred metres below where the truck was recovered; a child seat, boot and other miscellaneous items.

White River Helicopters also donated flying time to the search effort, which allowed a team to search from the air and access more isolated areas, said Sheppard.

“Despite the best efforts of the team, Dustin Steele was not located,” he added.