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Search for missing mushroom pickers ramps up
CLOSE TO 50 volunteers and trained search and rescue volunteers are heading out today east of Terrace to look for two mushroom pickers missing since Sunday.
At a briefing outside of search and rescue headquarters, search and rescue official Dave Jephson emphasized attention to detail in looking for Michael Devlin Sabo, 32, and Ike Murray, 26.
“We are not looking for anyone standing up and waving at us,” said Jephson.
“We are looking for someone lying down or covered up.”
When and where possible, searchers are being asked to be close together, looking for any sign of the two men.
“We need to go and have that meticulous search,” said Jephson.
Searchers are combing the Lorne Creek area on the north side of the Skeena River east of Terrace.
Sabo, Murray and a third man headed to the area by boat early Sunday morning Sept. 22.
Sabo and Murray went off together but when they did not return to the boat at a set time, the third man returned to town to summon help.
Searching began the next day, Sept. 23, with numbers of volunteers, including friends and family members of the missing men, expanding each day.
Jephson emphasized safety during his briefing, saying volunteers should not take undue risks.
He thanked the volunteer searchers for the time they are spending looking for the missing men.
“We appreciate what you are doing. This is an example of Terrace and the Terrace community,” he said.
Trained team leaders are linked by radio so that anything spotted can be quickly reported.
Jephson said there are also reports of old mine shafts in the area.
An RCMP officer is in the area as well should bears prove a hazard.
A RCMP helicopter equipped with a device that can pick up body heat and other heat signatures spent two days over the search area earlier this week.
It was called away yesterday and is not in the area today.
That helicopter spent approximately eight hours over the search area, reported RCMP Sgt. Mike Robinson.
A donated Lakelse Air helicopter spent approximately five hours over the area at the beginning of the week.
Jephson and Robinson said trained search and rescue team leaders from around the province will be arriving for an intensified effort tomorrow and Sunday.
“We're expecting a lot more people tomorrow,” said Jephson.
Searchers will include more than 20 members of the local Canadian Rangers patrol, volunteers who are part of the Canadian Armed Forces.
The patrol had been planning an outdoors exercise prior to Sabo and Murray going missing.