MONTREAL — Provincial police today dispatched a sonar-equipped boat to a reservoir to look for signs of a missing helicopter carrying a Quebec businessman and his teenage son who failed to return from a fishing trip last week.
The search stretched into a fifth day for Stephane Roy and his 14-year-old son, who never reached their hometown of Ste-Sophie, Que., last Thursday. They were reported missing the next day.
Roy is founder and owner of Les Serres Sagami Inc., which produces greenhouse-grown tomatoes and other produce under the Sagami and Savoura brand names.
Canadian Forces search and rescue teams were airborne again today, assisted by the Canadian Coast Guard and civilian aerial search and rescue units.
Capt. Trevor Reid says the search zone has been narrowed to about 12,000 square kilometres, and Griffon helicopters and Hercules planes are among the aircraft taking part.
Reid says it’s still a large area, but as evidence becomes available, co-ordinators at the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Trenton, Ont. are able to reduce the size of the search.
Provincial police spokeswoman Helene Nepton says a weak iPhone signal captured last Wednesday may offer some additional clues of the missing pair’s whereabouts.
Nepton says the police boat was concentrating its search on an area of the Mitchinamecus reservoir not far from the chalet where Roy and his son stayed with two others.
While there was a beacon on Roy’s Robinson R44 helicopter, Reid said a distress call was never made.
Roy and his son were scheduled to take off from Lac de la Bidiere, in the upper Laurentians regions, west of La Tuque, Que. last Wednesday around 12:30 p.m.
The entrepreneur owned the R44 helicopter and according to a statement from his company, was an experienced pilot.
The Canadian Press