Air and ground search launched for missing snowshoer in Lions Bay
VANCOUVER -- March 23 update: The missing man was found dead.
A major search and rescue effort involving several teams from Metro Vancouver has been launched for a 37-year-old hiker from Burnaby who hasn’t been seen since Saturday.
It’s believed Ryoji Fujita had planned to snowshoe Hat Mountain, near Brunswick Mountain, in Lions Bay -- but he hasn’t been heard from or seen since.
Search crews from Lions Bay, Coquitlam, Whistler and the North Shore are all involved in the search for Fujita.
He is described as Japanese, about 5’6” tall, with a slim build, short black hair and brown eyes.
Burnaby RCMP believe Fujita was wearing a black North Face jacket, black snowpants, with a black backpack, hiking poles and hiking boots on Saturday.
In a Facebook post, North Shore Rescue explained some of the challenges for its crews helping in the search, noting its resources are stretched more than normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It became apparent today that social distancing is not possible for SAR crews We need to meet to plan searches, we are transported by helicopter and utilize the same head sets, we share equipment, and bring in people from various locations that are required for their expertise. We all then head back to our families,” the rescue group wrote
North Shore Rescue is urging people to make “conservative choices” when heading out into the wilderness due to the strain on rescue teams, but also noted teams will always be available and ready to respond in an emergency.
Anyone who sees Ryoji Fujita or has information on his whereabouts is asked to call Burnaby RCMP at 604-646-9999.