More than 200 volunteers join effort

An RCMP helicopter and underwater sonar system were brought in yesterday to search the Tofino beach where a seven-year-old Bellingham boy, who’s been missing for four days, was last seen.

William Pilkenton was walking along the rocky shore of Duffin Cove with his father on Friday morning when David Pilkenton said his son vanished.


RCMP Const. Susan Boyes said divers equipped with a side-scan sonar, which is used to map the seabed, were in the water yesterday searching for any sign of the little boy.

She said more than 200 volunteers have been searching parks and nearby wooded areas.

"It seemed as if anyone who could assist in some capacity was out there."

The small community on the west coast of Vancouver Island is a popular spot for surfing and whale watching.

William had been staying at a nearby bed and breakfast with his parents and brother. The family has been joined in Tofino by friends and relatives.

Boyle said police are assessing the situation hour by hour.

"We don’t have a strict timeline. It’s just something that has to be monitored as the day progresses."

Search efforts have included dog teams, coast guard and department of fisheries and oceans vessels, a Canadian Forces Cormorant and a Buffalo aircraft from 442 Squadron in Comox.

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