Search continues for missing Canadian in Australia as family pleads for stepped up efforts
CANBERRA, Australia – Searchers in Australia are continuing efforts to try to find a Canadian who has been missing for two weeks amid a full-blown social media campaign by his family to increase the number of searchers.
New South Wales police say Prabhdeep Srawn went for a bushwalk in a national park (Koscuiszko National Park) on May 13 southwest of the capital Canberra and hasn’t been seen since.
His rental car, which was due to be returned on May 15, was found in Charlotte Pass Village.
Police say in a news release that 28 searchers from various police and parks agencies spent Sunday searching and are back out again Monday.
They say specialist alpine-trained rescuers were airlifted into six areas above the snow line in the mountainous park.
Police say they are still treating the operation as a search and rescue.
The family of Srawn, reportedly from Brampton, Ont., have started an online petition calling for Australian officials to increase the number of searchers. So far, 7,520 have signed the petition.
The petition website notes Srawn has served in the Canadian Forces reserves and has extensive cold-weather and survival-training experience.
It says the number of searchers being employed is far too small to cover the 7,000 square kilometres.
“Time is of the essence, as he has been out there for 12+ days,” a note on the petition website says.
Ruby Singh, Srawn’s cousin, also posted a YouTube video pleading for Australian authorities not to abandon their search efforts.
“He’s there somewhere, he may be cold, he may be injured, he may be hungry, he needs your help, he needs your support,” she said in the video.
“He needs you to reach out to all authorities who may have any power to send in more help.”
© 2013 The Canadian Press