The public is asked to keep an eye out for a Courtenay man, Michael Gazetas. Photo supplied

Search and rescue waits for defined area for missing Island man

Friends and family raise funds for search to narrow down location of Courtenay’s Michael Gazetas

Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue (CVGSAR) is waiting to get a better general idea of where a missing Vancouver Island man might have gone.

In the meantime, friends and family of Michael Gazetas have raised about $35,000 for a search to help narrow the possibilities.

“The family and friends are currently working hand in hand with the RCMP,” says Paul Berry, CVGSAR president.

On a GoFundMe page, Searching for Gaz, set up to raise money for the search to narrow down potential locations, organizer Sue Biely posted on Feb. 4 that they got the first clue.

“This has reinvigorated our teams who needed a lead,” she said on the fundraising page, adding police asked that no details be released at this time.

Gazetas has been missing since Jan. 31 and was last seen leaving his house in Courtenay. People close to him think he might have gone north or into the bush, but there was no indication of where he might have gone.

RELATED STORY: Courtenay man is reported missing

CVGSAR is responsible for the Island, so they need to wait until the potential locations can be narrowed. Some of those searching now, Berry said, are search and rescue members, including some from the Mainland.

“They were able to hire a helicopter,” Berry said. In the meantime, CVGSAR was able to help out with some mapping for the effort, while the searchers continue looking.

The GoFundMe was aiming to raise $15,000 but had brought in $34,945 by mid-week. The helicopter costs $1,800 an hour with an additional $350 an hour for fuel.

According to Biely’s post, they have 10 teams on the ground. Searchers have covered southern parts of the Island and the west coast, including Port Renfrew, Tofino and Ucluelet, and areas north such as Zeballos and Fair Harbour. As of Wednesday, they are in the Campbell River area and points further west.

Gazetas, 51, is known to go into natural areas where he worked as a location manager and scout for the film industry. He is six feet tall and about 250 pounds.

“Gaz is a beautiful teddy bear of a man who has been a generous friend and fan of many his whole life,” Biely wrote on the GoFundMe page.

The Comox Valley RCMP detachment is 250-338-1321. The case file number is 2020-1779.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

missing person

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The public is asked to keep an eye out for a Courtenay man, Michael Gazetas. Photo supplied

Just Posted

An Island Health nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy Island Health)
Health authority opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents

Health authority anticipates more than 40,000 people will be immunized over the next month

The platanthera dilatata is the fragrant white bog orchid whose perfume on a hot August day is one of the unforgettable delights of a summer hike in Strathcona Park. Photo supplied
Strathcona Wilderness Institute AGM upcoming

The Strathcona Wilderness Institute (SWI) will hold its 2021 annual general meeting… Continue reading

The candidates in the recent municipal by-election say while they’re disappointed with the voter turnout, most are intending to take another run at a seat in 2022. Black Press File Photo
Candidates lament low voter turnout in Campbell River municipal by-election

Many say they will still be putting their names forward again in the future, however

BC Rent Bank helps people stay out of homelessness. Black Press stock photo
BC Rent Bank pitched for Campbell River

Program provides loans to keep people housed

Comox Strathcona Waste Management is planning webinars for the public to see the preliminary designs for the new composting facility. Photo CSWM
Preliminary designs for CSWM composting facility released

CSWM wants feedback on designs, holding two webinars next week

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Most Read