By Steve Hubrecht
[email protected]

Earlier this week Columbia Valley Search and Rescue volunteers and Columbia Valley RCMP were out in force, searching for a kayaker who had gone missing on Bugaboo Creek.

Peter Jolles, 46, of Virginia, set out on Sunday, June 19, on a solo kayaking trip down the creek, which like other local rivers and lakes is full and roiling with spring runoff.  Later that same day he did not appear at his designated pick-up location as expected, and was reported missing to police. 

The RCMP received the report at 8:23 p.m. and immediately contacted Columbia Valley Search and Rescue (CVSAR). A rescue hasty team set out by air and ground teams searched the road and river into the night. The searchers found Jolles’s green inflatable green kayak, but not Jolles.

On the morning of Monday, June 20, the search resumed and was expanded, with members of Golden Search and Rescue and Kimberley Search and Rescue joining the efforts. The rescue includes both swift water technicians as well as ground searchers.

“Columbia Valley RCMP are asking pedestrians to avoid the search area, namely the banks around the Lower Bugaboo Falls area and Bugaboo Creek, to allow search teams to work freely,” said Columbia Valley RCMP Sergeant Darren Kakuno.

The RCMP supplied an image of Jolles (shown below) and said he was last seen wearing a black dry suit, grey life jacket and white helmet. Jolles is described as a Caucasian man, standing 6’5, weighing 180 lbs, with a fit physique and shoulder length wavy hair.

On Tuesday, June 21 at 4:05 p.m., RCMP released a statement saying they suspended their search after exhaustive efforts in dangerous conditions. In the release, Sergeant Kakuno stated, “At this point, we have exhausted land and air search efforts, and conditions are far too dangerous for continued water efforts. We will look at these opportunities in the future when water levels recede.” He adds that the Columbia Valley RCMP will continue to investigate until such time that Jolles is located.

Anybody with information about Jolles’s whereabouts should contact the Columbia Valley RCMP at 1-250-342-9292 and cite file 2022-1463.