Ashley Bourgeault and Dominic Neron have been missing since Nov. 25, when their plane was reported overdue. (File)

Families of missing pilot and girlfriend to start own search operation

Formal search for plane missing since Nov. 25 called off after nine days

Even as the news that the formal search for a missing plane would be suspended spread, family members were organizing their own effort.

Pilot Dominic Neron and Ashley Bourgeault were reported missing after their single-engine plane went missing somewhere between Penticton and Edmonton on Nov. 25.

The Joint rescue Coordination Centre Victoria (JRCC Victoria) has been coordinating the search and had focused its efforts near Revelstoke, where a ping from Neron’s cellphone was last located.

Family members arrived in Revelstoke over the weekend and have been speaking with search officials as well as canvassing the town.

RELATED: Families to see search through to conclusion

Monday morning they were informed that at sunset, the formal search would be suspended.

“Over the last nine days, Royal Canadian Air Force and Parks Canada aircraft have flown approximately 120 hours in extremely challenging weather and conditions, covering more than 22,000 square kilometres in the areas surrounding the last known location, and likely flight path, of the missing plane,” the Maritime Forces Pacific posted to Facebook Monday. “The JRCC Victoria acknowledges the support we have received from Parks Canada and CASARA, and the information provided by Telus, Rogers, NavCanada and NORAD, which greatly assisted in narrowing the search area.”

The areas being searched are in the backcountry and conditions have been challenging for the search crews, battling inclement weather and tough terrain.

Tammy Neron, the missing pilot’s sister, has been in Revelstoke since Saturday.

She posted on Facebook this morning that they would be starting up a search and rescue force locally.

“With how amazing this city has been, welcoming us with their love and expertise on the backcountry mountain terrain I am confident in their ability to find Dom and Ash,” she wrote. “After today, the search area will be open to any pilots, snowmobilers, back country skiers, and mountain guides… anyone searching in these areas must be an expert in their field.”

In a Facebook post shared almost 1,000 times, The Revelstoke Snowmobile Club has asked members to keep an eye out for the plane and passengers.

The case will be transferred to the RCMP and will be treated as a missing persons case. Revelstoke RCMP were not available for comment.

“Keep Dom and Ash in your prayers,” wrote Neron. “We are never giving up.”


 

@marissatiel
marissa.tiel@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Revelstoke child care centres receive $45,000 in CBT funding

The grants are for equipment purchases as well as outdoor space upgrades

Clouds and rain for election day in Revelstoke

Forecast from Environment Canada: Today: Cloudy. 30 per cent chance of showers… Continue reading

Revelstoke takes the plunge to support the Special Olympics

Fundraisers swam in Williamson Lake on Oct. 20

Rain in forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap region

Mixed bag of clouds, sun and showers forecast for the week ahead

Video: Revelstokians discuss issues for this election

Climate, economy, jobs were some of the deciding factors

Tories take North Okanagan-Shuswap riding with decisive lead

Incumbent Conservative MP Mel Arnold returns to Ottawa, Liberal Cindy Derkaz a distant second

Conservative candidate Tracy Gray wins Kelowna-Lake Country

The Canadian Press declared her the winner around 8:30 p.m.

Conservative Dan Albas wins Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

Supporters for candidates gather in West Kelowna to watch election results

Second young woman dies after rollover crash near Williams Lake

‘Someone’s going to get her heart, which is awesome, because she has the best heart in the world’

Google searches for ‘how to vote’ surge on Election Day

Interest spikes despite social media campaign by Elections Canada

Troll Grandfather bridges gap in Okanagan

Spotlight Kids’ Series show comes to Vernon Sunday

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

Sentencing date set for former West Kelowna teacher charged with child luring

Former Mount Boucherie teacher Bradley Furman will be sentenced on Dec. 16

Most Read