Search and rescue continues for Brent Hendren

  • Apr. 23, 2015 3:00 p.m.

By Quinn BenderHaida Gwaii ObserverA large arial and ground search continues today for a Kumdis Island resident missing since the weekend. A coordinated search between the RCMP, Canadian military, Coast Guard and Masset-based Archipelago Search and Rescue have employed several aircraft and marine vessels to concentrate their efforts between the Ain River and the entrance to the Masset Channel. However, no further clues have been found of 27-year-old Brent Hendren’s whereabouts.Unconfirmed information from friends of the missing man indicates the Coast Guard has called off its search, while all other agencies are remaining on scene.Some community members have enquired where and how they can join the search, but an RCMP spokesperson told the Observer it’s best to leave the job to the experts at this time.”We certainly appreciate that, but it’s pretty rugged terrain and the more people we have in there the more risk we have of them unintentionally interfering, or getting lost themselves,” Cpl. Dave Tyreman said.”A search and rescue airplane flying over will know, for example, there are only supposed be four people in a certain area, so if they see a fifth they know it’s our missing person. But if a whole lot more people are out there, they guy in the plane won’t know what’s going on.”Brent Hendren was last seen in Masset around 9 p.m. last Saturday, April 18, when a friend dropped him off near North Beach where it is believed he wanted to give flowers to his landlord. Mr. Hendren is a caucasian male, almost six-feet tall with dark, medium-length hair and a thick beard. An avid outdoorsman, he’s known by friends to sometimes push himself beyond his experience level. He moved to Haida Gwaii from Ontario last November to learn how to forage for food and live off the land while living in a cabin on Kumdis Island. Masset RCMP have confirmed a backpack belonging to Mr. Hendren was located Wednesday afternoon near Sewall. Earlier a boat Mr. Hendren had been borrowing from an islander on a regular basis was found abandoned in Masset Inlet with no oars or outboard motor.The Canadian Forces’ Joint Rescue Coordination Centre has been leading the search for Mr. Hendren since Tuesday afternoon, deploying a helicopter, planes and a Coast Guard vessel to assist ground-search crews.A friend of Mr. Hendren, Christy “Conch” Konshuh, told the Observer Mr. Hendren has a history of depression and fears he may have used poor judgement to land himself in a potentially life-threatening situation. “I have also observed a lot of conflicts in his social world, so I have concerns about his mental health Â… he seeks solace in being in the wild and being by himself.”He’s young, he’s 27, he’s learning and he thinks he’s invincible.”However, Mr. Hendren had no known plans for any long-term excursions from the time he was last seen. Ms. Konshuh said it would be unusual for him not to report any mishaps with the boat to its owner, and to be out of contact with friends for this long.Anyone with information pertaining to Brent Hendren’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Masset RCMP detachment at 250-626-3991.

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