British Columbia

Hiker unaccounted for in Strathcona Provincial Park on Vancouver Island

Search and Rescue teams have been hampered by bad weather in their search for 50-year-old Murray Naswell.

Search and Rescue teams have been hampered by bad weather in their search for Murray Naswell

Searchers say Murray Naswell knows Strathcona Provincial Park well. (CHEK News)

Search and rescuers are hopeful they will be able to locate a missing Vancouver Island man who was last seen camping in the province's oldest provincial park.

Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue (CVGSAR) says Murray Naswell, 50, camped on Wednesday in Strathcona Provincial Park which is about an hour's drive from Campbell River.

On Thursday, Naswell set out to climb Mount Albert Edward, but did not return to his campsite that night, according to Paul Berry, a search manager with CVGSAR.

Berry says Naswell knows the park well but that his family is worried about him. They say he was supposed to return from his trip by Friday evening.

"He's certainly familiar with the park area, his family would not describe him as particularly well-prepared, but certainly knowledgeable about the area," said Berry. "He's spent a lot of time in the park."

Paul Berry is a search manager with Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue. (CHEK News)

Berry says searchers located Naswell's tent, sleeping bag and some other items at the campsite. The hike to the summit of Mount Albert Edward takes around six hours to complete.

CVGSAR was unable to do much searching on Saturday due to low cloud cover and heavy rain.

Its plan for Sunday is to fly teams of searchers as high up the mountain as possible to search.

If Naswell is not located a larger response will kick into action Monday with teams of search and rescue volunteers coming to help from around the South Coast.

Anyone with information about Naswell is asked to call Comox Valley RCMP.