Search manager Shauneen Nichols talks about the search that’s been going on since Wednesday. New teams, such as Arrowsmith, join the search for Ben Kilmer on Sunday.

VIDEO: SAR reinforcements from up Island arrive Sunday to help search for Ben Kilmer

Family, RCMP ‘extremely happy’ with the search effort so far, search manager tells volunteers

Even more volunteers, this time from up Island, joined the search for Ben Kilmer Sunday, May 20.

Ben Kilmer, 41, is still missing as of Sunday morning, May 20, so Cowichan SAR briefed another big team of volunteers from all across Vancouver Island before everyone went out again to continue the search.

He has been missing since Wednesday, May 15, search manager Shauneen Nichols told those new to the search, and then gave details of what’s gone on so far.

“The RCMP were immediately called; they brought in their dog team and determined that this was concerning enough that they called in search and rescue to start with our search.

“Immediately, human trackers were put on this, once the dog team was finished in the field. There was evidence to determine a line of sign [traces on the ground] in a certain direction. That is where most of our teams headed, in that area, after our human trackers had cleared it, and then we brought it out from there,” she said.

Searches of the paths and area right nearby were done and then the search was broadened.

“As well we have been working closely with the convergent volunteers and family. They have also been extremely thorough in searching out favourite spots of Ben’s that he may have gone to.

“We have two separate searches going on here but they are coordinated. We have the SAR search of the immediate area, from his last known point, and we have expanded on that since Wednesday. And then we have friends, family, and the public designated to favourite places of Ben’s. Our coverage has been extremely thorough. The RCMP are very, very satisfied with how we’ve been working it. We have been taking any clues given, and, with the RCMP’s help, following up on those clues. So, it has been very methodical, very well covered. I find that the family, friends, and RCMP are extremely happy with how we’ve proceeded so far.

We will continue to proceed in that vein with the help of the many SAR members I see here today,” she said.


Teams are briefed in the field out behind the Sahtlam Fire Hall, which is proving a convenient HQ for the search. New teams, such as Arrowsmith, join the search for Ben Kilmer on Sunday. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

Shauneen Nichols says searchers have been working closely with RCMP. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

It’s taken the work of a lot of volunteers from up and down Vancouver Island to man this search. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

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