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

Two-vehicle crash in Langford sends one to hospital Monday morning

Driver sent to hospital with unspecified injuries

Recent arrests skim surface of Victoria’s human trafficking problem

Port city makes desirable place for traffickers flying under the radar

Victoria Canadian Forces member honored with exceptional Rotary Club award

Capt. Jacqueline Zweng is the Western Canada Ambassador of Wounded Warriors Canada

Oak Bay athletes rule the slopes at Island ski and snowboard series

Oak Bay boys take top ski, snowboard honours

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by Wet’suwet’en supporters

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

Federal emergency group meets on pipeline protests as rail blockades continue

There’s mounting political pressure for Trudeau to put an end to the blockades

Most Read