CLOSE TO 100 volunteers have joined trained search and rescue personnel this morning as the search continues for two mushroom pickers missing east of Terrace since Sept. 22.
Divided into teams with a trained search and rescue person in charge, the volunteers are first driving 53km east of Terrace on Hwy16 to a marshalling point after which boats will take them across to the north side of the Skeena River.
They’re looking for Ike Murray, 26, and Michael Devlin Sabo, 32, who did not return to an agreed upon meeting point in the Lorne Creek area on the north side of the Skeena River Sunday afternoon, Sept. 22.
The pair and another man headed off by boat up the Skeena River in the early morning hours of Sept. 22.
The third man came back to town that afternoon to summon help when Sabo and Murray did not return to the boat.
The number of searchers involved has increased steadily since the search began Sept. 23.
Close to 1,000 hours of searching time had taken place up until yesterday morning, Jephson said at this morning’s briefing.
“The families appreciate very much what you are doing,” he said to the gathered group.
Jephson emphasized the need to look under rocks and logs, anyplace where an injured person might be found.
“We are not looking for somebody who is standing up and waving at us,” he said. “We’re looking for someone who may be injured or trapped.”
Searchers are being asked to form lines, walking as close to each other as possible, and to look down for any sign of the missing pair.
“We are going out there for one reason and one reason only and that is to safely bring these two individuals home,” said Jephson.
Jephson also emphasized safety on the part of the searchers, telling them to report to their team leaders immediately if they feel unsafe.
Also in the area today is the local Canadian Ranger patrol. It’s conducting an outdoor exercise planned before the pair went missing.
“They’ll be going into a more rigorous and dangerous area,” said Jephson.
The Salvation Army is bringing its mobile kitchen to the Hwy16 gathering point this afternoon to serve hot food and beverages to returning searchers.