SAR Day 62 and 63: Tyler Wright, Coquitlam and DeBeck creeks
On Sunday, August 29th the team was asked to search areas of the Coquitlam and DeBeck drainages. Command was stationed at Grant Narrows. Weather was uncooperative. In an illustration of some of the hazards of SAR work, the first team out was tasked to set up the portable repeater to provide a communications net in the search area. On landing they were immediately whited out, and spend most of the rest of the day stranded on a ridge top near DeBeck Creek.
SAR members waiting to be deployed at Grant Narrows were not without work to do however, as a rescue in Golden Ears park was underway. As so many searchers were tied up in the Boise/Bull/DeBeck area, SAR members from Chilliwack, Ridge Meadows, and Coquitlam were sent in to do a stretcher carry of a subject with a broken/sprained/dislocated ankle — the rescue lasted several hours and the subject was flown out when an appropriate LZ was located.
Thursday, September 2nd the team was again asked to go back to the DeBeck and Coquitlam drainages to check out suspected tracks/camping spot seen from the air mid-week. Several teams were sent out and reported no tracks found. Travel in these areas was reported to be extremely difficult, and hazardous, especially near the confluence of Spindle Creek and DeBeck Creek. The task was stood down with nothing found.
As friends of Tyler's, we feel helpless as to what to do next. We are trying to think positively, but after reading your blog, trying to balance reality with hopefulness. What would you recommend the next steps be?
It's the hardest thing in the world to lose a loved one this way, with no resolution. It must leave you feeling powerless.
I regret that my blog makes you feel helpless, but I am trying to present a truthful story of my perspective on the tasks I did, and the search as I experienced it. Note that as a searcher I do not get all of the information that the managers do, so my experience is limited to briefings, conversations and emails through the SAR community.
My feeling is that if he was in the search area, and able to move, he would have been found. In a search in the Stein valley several years ago, it took two days to locate a man who was 2 days overdue; he got tired of listening to helicopters flying over him, and hiked to the top of a ridge where he was seen within 15 minutes.
One reason why this hike is even in the books is that it is a valley that has never been logged, unlike almost every valley around it. If he is not in this search area, I believe that he could have made it to a logging road, and safety.
I think that the only think that will make PEP reactivate the search would be **new information** that would change what direction they think he went. For instance, a change in his goal or state of mind results in a different subject profile as discussed in the book "Lost Person Behaviour" http://www.dbs-sar.com/LPB/lpb.htm
In the absence of such information, it does not make sense to continue searching areas that have already been done.
Finally, if it helps, you can read about a similar search in Whistler in 2002 and see what that family's experience has been like. They still post on their blog updates on the case file, which remains open.
Note that you can contact me directly through my profile.