The boater who went missing near the Marble River area has been identified as Wilderness Seaplanes pilot, Ryan MacDonald.
In an April 18 post to their Facebook page, Wilderness Seaplanes announced the mssing boater is their chief pilot Ryan MacDonald.
“Last week one of our long-time employees and friend was declared missing after a boating accident near Port Hardy. It is with immense sadness that we are now dealing with the loss of our beloved chief pilot, Ryan MacDonald,” stated the company.
MacDonald was reported missing to the RCMP on April 9, when the 45-year-old pilot failed to show up for work.
“RCMP were advised that the male, a Port Hardy resident, had made plans to attend a remote cabin on Alice Lake on Friday evening, April 6th,” said Port Hardy Staff Sgt. Wes Olsen in an April 10 press release, adding “He failed to show up for work on Monday morning causing friends and co-workers to become concerned and contact police.”
A three-day long search of the area found MacDonald’s truck and boat trailer at the Alice Lake boat launch near the Marble River Campground along Hwy 30 and an overturned boat was found in the Marble River Rapids down stream of the Marble River Bridge.
The search was suspended on April 13 due to rising water levels making the area unsafe for search and rescue crews to continue.
“All the rain we have received over the past couple of days have caused the water levels to rise significantly,” said Olsen, adding “This was causing logs and debris to dislodge making the area unsafe for the divers, their safety crews, and the Swift Water searchers.”
He said the search will recommence once “The water levels recede enough to allow us to safely re-enter the water.”
“Ryan was a humble, caring, knowledgeable and humorous character who always had a story to tell and a smile on his face,” stated Wilderness Seaplanes, adding “Wilderness Seaplanes send our sincerest condolences to his entire family and friends.We thank all of you that have called and expressed your thoughts for his family and us.”
The post finished stating, “Ryan – you are in our hearts and thoughts, and we will miss you.”