Gerald Kearney has been missing since Oct. 13. (File photo)

Gerald Kearney has been missing since Oct. 13. (File photo)

Friends worried about man who went missing at Fairy Creek logging blockades

Lake Cowichan seeks public’s assistance in locating Gerald Kearney

As of Oct. 26, Gerald Kearney had been missing for 13 days and friends are distressed, according to a release from the Rainforest Flying Squad.

Lake Cowichan RCMP is also seeking the public’s assistance in locating Kearney.

The retired lawyer, also known as Smiley, was last seen at Ridge Camp at the Fairy Creek logging blockades on Wednesday, Oct 13.

Kearney had travelled to Fairy Creek with Naomi Hunter, leader of the Saskatchewan Green Party, who was visiting, according to the Rainforest Flying Squad.

He chose to stay a few more days after she and another friend left.

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Hunter said Kearney had been living on his sailboat on the West Coast for about six months.

“He is the happiest, nicest guy,” she said in the news release. “He has a big heart, and has always been involved in social justice and environmental movements. He was living his dream and now he’s gone missing.”

Hunter said Kearney is divorced and has two daughters, and had been very involved with anti-poverty activism in Ontario before moving to B.C.

After a six-day stay at two different camps in the area, Kearney left Ridge Camp around 10 a.m. on Oct. 13, planning to hike down the trail to Heli Camp.

The hike takes about two hours and is considered a difficult one, but is relatively well marked with flagging tape, with ropes to assist hikers in the steepest areas.

The Rainforest Flying Squad’s release said Kearney told fellow campers he needed to get back home to look after his cat, which is now being cared for by friends.

One person said they may have seen Kearney at the Pacific Marine Highway later that afternoon.

However, he was not seen at Heli Camp along the way, where he was expected to retrieve the big hiking pack he had previously left there, along with his cell phone.

Kearney was also not seen on the trail, nor on the road down the mountain, according to the release.

Cowichan Search and Rescue were called out on Oct. 21, but after a day and a half of searching, they were unable to find Kearney.

The rescue team searched everywhere they safely could, but much of the mountain is treacherous terrain, especially in wet weather.

Kearney is 61 years old and has a heart condition.

He is 5 foot 4 and weighs about 210 pounds, has shoulder-length grey hair, and was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt over a purple sweater, and may have been wearing a dark raincoat.

Kearney was travelling on foot and may have been hitchhiking.

The squad is asking people who drove the Pacific Marine highway since the evening of Oct. 13 to take a moment to recall whether they saw anything unusual.

Corporal Holmes at Sooke RCMP is now overseeing the case and can be reached at 250-642-5241 if anyone has any information.

The police file number for the case is 20214792.

Fairy Creek watershedmissing person