Marine search re-opened for missing Fort Fraser man

The search for a Nadleh Whut'en man continues on the Nechako

Fort Fraser — The marine search for Robin Heathcliff, 50, was suspended Monday, April 6 but re-opened Friday, April 10 after SONAR became available to search teams.

Nechako Valley Search and Rescue volunteers searched throughout the weekend using the technology to see in the water but as of Monday, April 13 at 1:30 p.m. Heathcliff is still reported missing.

RCMP and NVSAR said they began a search on April 5 after reports that Heathcliff had fallen off the Nautley River Bridge and into the river. Rescue groups and community members scoured the river and its murky waters for days, however, they were unable to locate Heathcliff.

“We made 20 passes (throughout that area) and those are the ones I’m aware of. There were multiple searches from community members and family so you can imagine how many eyes were on the river,” Chris Mushumanski, Nechako Valley Search and Rescue (NVSR) president said. “Even if we don’t find him today (Monday, April 13) the missing persons case will remain open.”

Family members told the Omineca Express that they will remain on scene until Heathcliff is found. Members of the Nadleh Whut’en community and others have, and continue to, come to the family’s aid.

“Anyone who has people who can come out and look we appreciate it,” Beverly Ketlo, Heathcliff’s sister said.

The District of Vanderhoof provided a portable bathroom facility and picnic bench for the group at the Burrard Bridge. Some community members have started donating gas money, coffee and food to help with the search.

The RCMP said foul play is not suspected and they will continue an air search by helicopter.