The disappearances of two men, who have not been seen since May 16, is now being considered suspicious.
Daniel Archbald, 37, and Ryan Daley, 43, were last seen leaving the Ucluelet Small Craft Harbour on May 16. They had returned from a trip and had docked in Ucluelet on May 13.
They were reported missing to the police after failing to contact family and friends when they arrived home.
As Ucluelet RCMP followed leads about their disappearance, it has now been determined the case is suspicious and it has been turned over to the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit (VIIMCU).
Police have already conducted a search of the area, last seen by a local Search and Rescue team. Aerial searches have also been conducted.
A friend of Archbald, Paul Watt, said the pair had started a business and were importing a boat from Panama as part of their new charter service.
“You feel both hope and sadness when you think of what may have happened … it’s been a long time and it’s really difficult to imagine circumstances that have a good outcome at this point,” Watt said.
He describes his friend, a father of two girls aged five and nine, as an avid sailor with an ambition to get a nice boat.
“It’s the nightmare that you don’t ever want to think about, especially if those little girls lose their dad,” Watt said.
“I don’t know why they picked Ucluelet … the importation process slowed down so they were kind of stuck in customs for about three days in Ucluelet.
WATCH: Family and friends of two B.C. men who vanished from Ucluelet after returning from a Panama sailing trip are pleading for the public’s help to find their missing loved ones. Kylie Stanton reports.
Ucluelet harbour manager Kevin Cortes said the men had just returned from Panama when he met them on May 14.
“He asked me if I knew a boat surveyor because he wanted to see if he could get a lower assessment on it because he wanted to pay less taxes.”
Cortes said he put the men in contact with a local surveyor, adding on May 16, he got a call from Archbald wanting to pay the moorage fees, adding they were packed up and ready to go.
They left and that was the last Cortes saw of them before he was contacted by RCMP saying the men were missing.
“At that point in time I went to my video surveillance, went back to the date of the 16th and I just started taking pictures, stills of them coming up the dock with their packs and the actual video of the encounter when Dan left my office until he actually left my parking lot,” Cortes said.
“We ask anyone who has any information as to Daniel and Ryan’s whereabouts or anyone who may have seen them or talked to them between May 13 to 16 to call police immediately,” says Cpl. Madonna Saunderson in a release. “We are continuing our investigation into Daniel and Ryan’s disappearance and have no evidence to suggest that this case is linked to any other missing person investigation at this time.”
Archibald is described as five-foot-nine-inches, blond with blue eyes. Daley is described as five-foot-nine-inches with brown hair and hazel/blue eyes.
Anyone with information is asked to contact VIIMCU at 250-380-6211 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
-With files from Neetu Garcha and Kylie Stanton