A team of search-and-rescue volunteers from the Burnaby Fire Department have helped find one of three missing Canadians in the Bahamas.
Burnaby Firefighters Association president Jeff Clark said Capt. Ian Hetherington and retired Capt. Mark Pullen located missing Canadian Dale Hill safely at his home in the Marsh Harbour area of Greater Abaco Island on Wednesday.
The island is one of the hardest-hit areas of the Bahamas.
WATCH: Hurricane Dorian: BC rescue crews join grim search for dead
“We split into two groups,” said Clark.
“So, we took two dogs with Capt. Hetherington and Captain Pullen, and then we took a team of our remaining seven firefighters and two dogs to go and search in the Mudd, which is the hardest hit area. They say it could be as many as 6,000 people lost in that area.”
Clark said the storm had knocked out all power and phone lines to Hill’s area, which also had no cellphone connection when they found him.
“So he was pretty happy to see us,” said Clark.
Reached by phone from Abaco on Wednesday, Hetherington said Hill was unhurt and in generally good spirits, though his home had suffered significant damage.
“After the destruction they’ve seen I guess his neighbourhood is completely wiped out,” he said.
“He actually assisted us for further searches in his location and we managed to search the entire peninsula both beaches and all the houses, and we found two more deceased or not in that area.”
Search crews are still looking for two other Canadians, Yves Bechard and Carrie Lowe, who were last known to be in the Treasure Cay area.
Hetherington said his team would be heading to that area on Thursday, adding it hasn’t been searched yet.
Global Affairs Canada said communications in the affected part of the islands remain spotty, but that officials have been in contact directly or indirectly with all Canadian citizens reported to be in the affected areas.
Clark said 10 members of the department’s 25-person volunteer SAR squad are on the island.
He said the volunteer team practices on its own time and covers its own way.
He said on this mission, the team was being supported by Cathay Pacific and Jet Blue Airways, Pacific Blue Cross, Telus and Rogers.
The official death toll for Hurricane Dorian sits at 50. However, that number is expected to rise, as more than 2,500 people are listed as missing.
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