WEST BAY — It’s been an extremely sad week for the family of a missing duck hunter.
As several of his brothers watched Royal Canadian Mounted Police divers comb the waters of West Bay, just how tragic recent days have been for them was shared.
Two brothers and a number of other family members, home from different parts of the country for their mother’s funeral Friday, learned their brother was missing Monday.
After carrying out land, water and air searches Monday evening to Wednesday afternoon; searchers and RCMP divers were unable to find the 50-year-old Port au Port man.
The missing man’s snowmobile was found on West Bay beach Monday, according to Const. Sam Munden of the Bay St. George RCMP and his tracks were found where he climbed a hill. Searchers found spent shotgun cartridges they believe he fired from an area atop the hill next to a fish shed.
Tracks then led to the beach area — the reason divers were concentrating efforts below the surface Wednesday.
After a full-day’s search, which involved breaking slob ice in shallow water, the man was still not found. The divers reported the water below the ice was fairly clear and they had about 15 to 20 feet of visibility.
One of the men said his brother often hunted this area for ducks. He was surprised his brother had gone missing while duck hunting, since they all grew up doing that around ice pans.
The underwater recovery effort was called off for the day in the early evening, and police reported the search would resume this morning with assistance of local search and rescue teams.
Munden said, weather permitting, searching would be done from an open boat using Bathyscope underwater viewers. The forecast for western Newfoundland is calling for high winds and rain today.
The Stephenville-Kippens-Port au Port Search and Rescue team had volunteer personnel involved in the search since first receiving word of the missing man Monday evening.
The 103 Search and Rescue Squadron out of Gander also did an initial search with its helicopter, which was followed up Wednesday by a private helicopter owned by Universal Helicopters Newfoundland and Labrador.