The families of Dominic Neron and Ashley Bourgeault, whose plane went missing near Revelstoke in late November have called off their search until the spring.
“It breaks my heart to say this but weather is not on our side anymore and heavy snowfall is accumulating in Revelstoke,” said Tammy Neron, the pilot’s sister, in a statement posted to social media.
“All search efforts have to be suspended until the snow melts as helicopters and drones cannot search in these treacherous conditions.”
Neron, a pilot, and his girlfriend Bourgeault, were flying from Penticton to Edmonton on Nov. 25. Their plane never arrived.
The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria coordinated a search for nine days using aerial and ground resources around Revelstoke. When their effort was called off on Dec. 4, the families began to fundraise for their own search effort. They raised $36,825 of their $40,000 goal.
Neron said the donations would be used again in the spring.
“I know these mountains will be extremely active with back country recreation and I pray someone spots Dominic’s plane, which will be found it’s just a matter of time,” she said.
The family had mounted their own search effort with the help of B.C. and Albertan pilots. A crew with a drone was also looking in Glacier National Park.
The families are heading back to Edmonton until the New Year.
“I’m not sure how one lives without some kind of closure,” said Neron. “All I know is this nightmare I’ve been resisting, and pouring every ounce of positivity and faith I had into, is slowly becoming a reality. It breaks my heart leaving Revelstoke, but I will never loose [sic] hope!”