The mother of one of two Langford teens who were found safe near Chemainus on Monday, July 6 expressed her gratitude to the people of the Cowichan Valley for their efforts in helping the boys.
Jordan Phillion, 15, and his friend Dylan Deroy, 18, were reported missing when they failed to return from a day trip to the Cowichan Lake area on Sunday. They were found on Monday afternoon on a back road in the Copper Canyon area near Chemainus, where their truck had become stranded.
“I cannot express how thankful I am to have our boys reunited with their families today,” said Phillion’s mom, April, in an email to the Black Press Media. “The town of [Lake Cowichan] and beyond went to extreme measures to help us find our children and we can’t thank you enough. Sending much gratitude for such a wonderful community that came together at such a tough time.”
The teens were last heard from on Sunday, when Deroy’s cell phone was used on Gibbins Road in North Cowichan. They were believed to be heading to back roads around Lake Cowichan or Youbou. Lake Cowichan RCMP deployed local search and rescue teams, and an RCMP helicopter and Civil Air Search and Rescue planes conducted a search by air.
It was the RCMP helicopter that spotted the pair and Deroy’s truck around 2:15 p.m. on Monday.
“The boys are safe and returning home to their families in Langford,” said Cpl. Christ Dovell of the West Shore RCMP. “Thank you to all the first responders, search and rescue personnel and community members for your hard work to help locate them.”
After rescuing the teens, the helicopter returned to Lake Cowichan, where the search was headquartered. According to Lake Cowichan resident Kathryn Swan, the pilot said he had spent two hours searching west of town, as far as Carmanah, then had to return to refuel. After refuelling, he checked behind the nearby mountain range, then flew northwest into Copper Canyon, where he spotted the boys shortly after they left their stranded truck, where they had spent the previous night.