Drone Photo Renews Search


Searchers will return to a remote area of the Rocky Mountains near Revelstoke, British Columbia, after relatives of two people missing in a suspected plane crash found a fuzzy drone photo in which the words “help” or “here” appear to be written in the snow. The photo was taken by a commercial drone whose use was donated for the search in earlyDecember. The image may also show a part of a propeller. Relatives have been combing through thousands of images shot by the drone over the last couple of months and discovered the image a few days ago. In late November, pilot Dominic Neron, 28, and his girlfriend Ashley Bourgeault, 31, went missing with their Mooney on a trip from Penticton, B.C., to Edmonton, Alberta. The last signal from one of their cellphones was from a tower in the Revelstoke area. The formal search ended in early December but relatives continue to fundraise and local helicopter skiing operations have been informally keeping an eye out for signs of the crash.

The photo shows something that looks like letters spelled out in a clear area of snow in a forested area. The letters appear to be formed by something dark in color, perhaps tree boughs. It’s unlikely the couple has survived almost two months in the frigid wilderness. Since the plane went missing, more than 15 feet of snow has fallen in the area and temperatures have been as low as -20. Bourgeault’s cousin Carol Barnes said the families just want confirmation of the couple’s fate.