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

Pumps not needed on the Cowichan River this year

Wet year so far has resulted in higher water levels

Pig destined for sanctuary goes missing from Cobble Hill farm

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Editorial: Mask wearing: innocuous advice has turned into polarizing war

Somehow, this innocuous recommendation has become a polarizing war for some.

UPDATED: Young deckhands backed out of fatal Arctic Fox II trip just before fishboat departed

Inexperienced twin brothers had ‘gut feeling’ and bailed before going to open ocean

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Captive fawn seized from Island home

Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Most Read