Search for man missing between Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii called off

After three days of an extensive search effort, 66-year-old Folkert “Fred” Wydenes remains missing.

RCMP news.

RCMP news.

After three days of an extensive search effort, 66-year-old Folkert “Fred” Wydenes remains missing.

Mr. Wydenes was last seen around Monday May 30th, when the small skiff he was in with his partner overturned in the area of Tian Bay, south of Frederick Island on the West Coast of Haida Gwaii.

The couple was travelling from Prince Rupert to Haida Gwaii by boat around Monday May 30th, when they decided to stop along the North west side of the island. They anchored their main vessel, the “Ocean Gem” – a 40-foot wooden fishing vessel, in Otard Bay and took a smaller aluminum skiff into Tian Bay when the boat overturned and both were thrown into the water. The 62 year old woman held on to the overturned boat and managed to put on a life jacket.

However the 66 year old male was unable to and he floated away.

Members of the RCMP’s West coast Marine Services and the RCMP Underwater Recovery Team (URT) conducted a thorough search of Tian Bay for Mr. Wydenes. While the search was initially hampered by weather conditions and a gale warning that was in effect, multiple dives were conducted along with snorkel searches and an underwater grid search in the bay. Searchers also returned to the shores of Tian Bay, where the 62 year old woman managed to start a fire and wait to be rescued. While some items and debris from the boat were found, Mr. Wydenes remains missing.

At this time the search has been suspended and no further attempts are being planned. This decision has been discussed with his family. While a physical search has been called off, this matter remains an active missing person’s file.