Members of North Cedar Fire Department search a stretch of the Nanaimo River on Friday, Jan. 14. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

Members of North Cedar Fire Department search a stretch of the Nanaimo River on Friday, Jan. 14. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

First responders, search-and-rescue crews looking for man missing along Nanaimo River

Man’s vehicle located in Cedar on Friday, search effort escalated Saturday

Search-and-rescue crews and first responders are conducting an extensive search for a man whose vehicle was found along the Nanaimo River yesterday.

According to a Nanaimo RCMP press release, a 32-year-old man’s vehicle – with his cellphone, wallet and keys still inside –was located at a parking lot in Cedar on Friday, Jan. 14.

Subsequently, firefighters, Nanaimo Search and Rescue and Nanaimo RCMP, with Police Dog Services, begin searching the immediate area. This morning, Jan. 15, they were joined from search-and-rescue crews from other jurisdictions in addition to two helicopters, a fast response vessel from Cedar volunteer fire department and a search-and-rescue canine unit. In all, 70 volunteers are assisting, the press release said.

The man’s family is extremely worried for his well-being, said the press release.

A photo of the man will not be released, as per the family’s request, but the public is advised that he is 5-foot-10 with a thin build. He was last seen wearing a forest green sweater, tan pants and dark shoes.

“There is roughly 11 kilometers of shoreline and water which makes up the Nanaimo River,” Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesperson said in the press release. “The sheer size of the river compounded with the water levels and the current speed of the water is making for challenging search conditions.”

Anyone with information that could assist search crews is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP’s non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

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