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Two members of Nelson Search and Rescue chosen for elite team

Two members from Nelson Search and Rescue are heading to Australia to look for a missing Canadian. - Sam Van Schie photo
Two members from Nelson Search and Rescue are heading to Australia to look for a missing Canadian.
— image credit: Sam Van Schie photo

Two members of Nelson Search and Rescue are heading to Australia to help search for the remains of a Canadian hiker who went missing six months ago.

Brian Cooles and Ryan Brown left last week to join a team of 18 BC-based search and rescue members who will be searching from November 30 to December 15.

Murray Springman, search manager for Nelson Search and Rescue, said the fact the two members of the Nelson crew were selected show the level of talent and expertise the local team has.

“There was an email sent to every search and rescue volunteer in the province,” explained Springman.

The email asked them to list all qualifications and experience. From that, the top 18 people were chosen to make up the team.

The crew is now in New South Wales, Australia looking for any signs of 25-year-old Brampton man Prabhdeep Srawn.

Srawn, who was studying law in Australia, was last seen on May 13 at Charlotte Pass Village, where he was set to enter Kosciuszko National Park. While authorities there did search for the missing man, the rescue effort was abandoned on June 1, due to heavy snowfall.

In Australia, the seasons are opposite from North America and winter takes place in June.

According to Springman, Srawn’s family, looking for closure, decided to put together its own team to search for the missing man’s body.

“I’m just speculating, but I think someone told them if you want the best in Canada, well, British Columbia has the best,” he said, adding there are approximately 1,500 searches a year in Canada and BC has 1,100 of them.

He said the family is putting up its own money for the search, paying for airfare and all expenses. The search and rescue team members are volunteering their time.

“I just hope they will be able to find something and finally bring some closure to the family,’ said Springman.

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