Canadian search and rescue teams are back out in full force today to continue their search for a missing Quebec man and his 14-year-old son, who have been missing since Wednesday afternoon. Stephane Roy and his son failed to return as planned from a fishing trip in northern Quebec, and the helicopter that they travelled in has also gone missing.
Search teams have headed back out on Saturday morning to continue to look for the pair, after being hindered in recent days by the terrible weather and thunderstorms experienced in the province. Canadian Forces are examining potential routes that their helicopter could have taken between the areas of Lac De La Bidiere and Ste-Sophie, approximately 90 minutes away from the family’s home.
According to Captain Trevor Reid, a Hercules plane and three Griffon helicopters are being used in the search, as well as civilian search and rescue organizations. Despite the considerable equipment, Reid says the terrain is large and challenging.
“We’re searching an area that’s approximately 20,000 square kilometres,” he said, adding, “It’s heavily forested, rocky, with several lakes in the area as well.”
Roy and his son had taken their scheduled trip with two others, who had made the same journey in a seaplane. The pair were reported missing on Wednesday afternoon when their friends in the plane returned as planned, but Roy and his helicopter did not.
Roy’s company has created a Facebook page, dedicated to the search and rescue operation calling on fishermen and travellers in the area to keep an eye out. As many people are expected to be heading to the region this weekend, the page asks tourists to keep their eyes open for any signs of Roy or his son.
According to Andre Michaud, a friend of Roy’s and the president of Agro Quebec, Roy was an experienced pilot, whose personal aircraft was in “excellent condition.” He added that it has been a difficult time for those involved, but praised the mobilization of local teams that were leaving no stone unturned to find the pair.
The Canadian Forces don’t have a time frame for how long the search for Roy and his son could go on. Reid said, "We take these searches hour by hour, we don’t look too far to the future or speculate on what might happen."
He added, "Our focus is the operation at hand.”