The search for 50-year-old Ernest Raymond is in “recovery mode” after three days of search and rescue efforts yielded no results, Tuktoyaktuk RCMP announced on Monday.
According to police, Raymond was first reported missing late on the afternoon of July 16 when RCMP received a call stating he had not been seen in the community for several days.
Police reported his 14-foot aluminum boat missing from a camp he frequented on Reindeer Point. They found the boat later that evening but Raymond was not there.
Marine and aerial searches over the weekend, featuring the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary and Tuktoyaktuk community members, were not successful.
Tyrone Raddi, another resident of the hamlet, has been heading up search efforts amongst community members.
He said there are typically 15 to 20 people searching the water in their boats, nearly 10 who search along the beaches, and multiple people in the community who are donating and preparing food for the volunteers.
While it’s a difficult time, Raddi said watching the community come together to help has been “an amazing sight to see.”
Raddi and the rest of the community search team personally knew Raymond.
“[He] liked to keep himself, never bothered anybody,” Raddi said. “He is just a good person.”
In a news release, Tuktoyaktuk detachment commander Sgt Chris MacDonald said: “This is a difficult time for the community of Tuktoyaktuk. We are working hard to try to collect any information and evidence as to Ernest Raymond’s whereabouts and provide his loved ones as to what happened.
“Our thoughts are with the family at this time.”
Tuktoyaktuk police thanked community members and partners for their assistance.
Though efforts have shifted to recovery, Raddi said he and other community members are still holding hope that Raymond will be found safe.
“We’re just doing whatever we can to bring some kind of conclusion,” he said, “and regardless of the outcome, maybe some closure for the family which is always important instead of having to wonder what, where, why, when.”
Those who want to get involved can call Tyrone Raddi’s office at 867-977-2444.