The search for missing West Vancouver resident David Leggett was suspended this week.
Murray Watt, the manager of the Squamish Search and Rescue (SSAR) team told The Chief on Monday (Dec. 17) that poor weather has created safety issues for searchers.
“The next area we need to search is atop the [Stawamus] Chief and there’s two inches of ice up there right now,” he said. “It’s a safety issue because we don’t want to put anyone in danger to find someone.”
Watt said the probability of death in the case is high because Leggett has been missing for more than a week.
“If we can’t find him in a safe way, then I’m not putting people at risk,” he said. “We’ve suspended operations but are not done with the search. It will have to be done later in the season.”
He said he realizes that people will still likely venture out onto trails despite the risks and urged anyone who finds something related to the search to call 911.
SSAR and Squamish RCMP launched a search in the Shannon Falls/Stawamus Chief area for Leggett after the missing man’s vehicle was found in the Shannon Falls parking lot on Dec. 9.
Leggett was believed to be familiar with the trails in the Shannon Falls/Stawamus Chief area, Cst. Tammy Khorram of the West Vancouver Police Department wrote in a statement issued Dec. 10.
Leggett is described as Caucasian, 5 feet, 8 inches tall, 150 pounds, with blonde hair and balding. He might have been wearing glasses, Khorram wrote.
Some 22 local volunteers were involved in the search, scouring the woods between Shannon Falls and the Stawamus Chief and going up in a helicopter when the weather cleared last week to survey the rock faces and crevasses of the Chief.
Searchers also combed the nearby Howe Sound shoreline, assisted by both the local branch of the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Society and a Cormorant search helicopter from CFB Comox.
Anyone with information about Leggett's whereabouts is asked to phone West Vancouver Police at (604) 925-7300.