PREVIOUSLY POSTED: Police and search and rescue units are ramping up efforts to find a Nanaimo couple who failed to return from a fishing trip to the Nanaimo Lakes area.
Cody Martin, 32, and Tamara Sandulak, 29, told family and friends they were heading to the Nanaimo Lakes area to go fishing, but they did not return Wednesday and were reported missing to Nanaimo RCMP Thursday. The couple was accompanied by their black Labrador-cross dog Rex and travelled to the area in a burgundy-coloured Dodge Ram 1500 pickup, bearing B.C. licence plate No. NV9 240.
Nanaimo Search and Rescue and RCMP launched a search by ground and air of the area Thursday until it got dark with no sign of the couple and resumed the search at 7:30 a.m. Friday, focusing on trying to find the couple’s pickup truck, which if found, searchers hope will give a starting point to focus efforts.
As of Friday afternoon there were dozens of searchers and two helicopters combing the area around Second Lake and Echo Lake where the couple had indicated they were going.
“There are 50 personnel on site and two helicopters in the air – that’s the RCMP and a [military] search and rescue chopper,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “We have Cowichan [Search and Rescue] assisting, Arrowsmith assisting and if they’re not found today, they’re expecting upwards of 75 searchers.”
As of Friday, there were no search dogs deployed as there was not an established track for them to work from.
“There are a lot of family there helping out with searching certain areas,” O’Brien said. “Mom and dad are there, obviously quite distraught, hoping for the best.”
O’Brien said it is expected to be cold overnight Friday.
“The theory is maybe they’re waiting for a break in the weather and they got a break today and they could be walking out,” O’Brien said. “Or something’s happened that’s prevented them from doing so.”
Martin is 6-foot-4, 210 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a black jacket and tan-coloured pants. Sandulak is 5-foot-6, 140 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes. She was last seen wearing a black coat and blue jeans or leggings.
Anyone with information about their location is asked to call 911 or the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file No. 2020-41121.