January 4, 2014 8:33 pm
Updated: January 4, 2014 11:03 pm

UPDATE: Rescue crews wrap up final search for missing British tourist Thomas Billings


North Shore Rescue have finished their final search for missing British tourist Thomas Billings today.

NSR focused on three key areas of Crown Mountain and Hanes Valley Saturday hoping to locate the 22-year-old man.

Crews are hoping to give Billings’ family some closure and do not believe they will find him alive.

Billings went missing on November 25 in Vancouver. He was supposed to go to the U.S. at the end of the month, and return to England on December 7.

Watch: Tim Jones with the latest on North Shore Rescue search for Tom Billings

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North Shore Rescue team leader Tim Jones says they have not found any promising signs of Billings in their search today.

Search crews covered all but one area they planned to examine today.

Jones says they have high promise for a boulder field leading into Crown Pass, but  it is covered with too much snow for crews to safely maneuver in.

“There is a high probability he is in that area because we did a time-trial of where he could be and that would have been an area where he would have been in almost darkness on November 25,” says Jones. “It is a very difficult to navigate through. It is now snowed in. The weather has not allowed us to get in and check it.”

He says the boulders in the field range from small vehicle size to small house size.

“When they get filled with snow, it is very treacherous for manpower.”

Jones says they will now be discussing a possible course of action with Vancouver police, British Consulate and Emergency Management BC.

Vancouver police say all of the tips provided to them about Billings have been followed up and all investigative leads exhausted.

“Any focused mountain searches will be discontinued unless police receive additional and credible information,” said VPD spokesperson Brian Montague in a press release.

North Shore Rescue has put in over 1,500 hours since December 4 looking for Billings.

“We gave it an incredible effort,” says Jones. “We were busy at that time with other search-and-rescue tasks. A lot of our members gave up their Christmas holidays to specifically search for Tom.”

GALLERY: Final search for Thomas Billings 

This latest search was triggered by a tip received after NSR posted aerial video online last week.

NSR spokesperson Tim Jones said two female hikers may have seen Billings in the Lynn Headwaters area the day he went missing.

One of the hikers saw a tweet mentioning the search for Billings, which jogged her memory about the possible sighting back in November.

READ MORE: Social media instrumental in search for missing British tourist

The two women then decided to contact the North Vancouver RCMP.

Billings’ family says he is a very experienced hiker and has travelled all over the world.

He is described as white, 5’7” tall, 160 pounds, with blonde short hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a black jacket and grey military style pants.

Anyone with information on the disappearance of Billings is asked to call the Vancouver Police Department.

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