Paul Tayes

UPDATED: Man missing from Kokanee Creek Park

The search continues for a man last seen on Tuesday night in Kokanee Creek Provincial Park.

Update Saturday:

The search continues for Paul Tayes who last seen on Tuesday night in Kokanee Creek Provincial Park. Nelson Search and Rescue (SAR) and Creston and South Columbia SAR have conducted a ground search of the entire park, except one area that has had black bear sightings. Today 25 SAR members have been retracing their steps in areas they consider high probability, sweeping the spots with searchers closer together.

Chris Armstrong of Nelson Search and Rescue said the Conservation Officer Service was to secure the area that has bear activity to ensure SAR members can safety search that area this afternoon.

RCMP Staff Sergeant Tom Roy for the Kootenay Boundary detachment said the General Investigation Section from Trail is on the case interviewing people who were camping at the park since last Tuesday. He said RCMP are in close contact with Tay’s family getting to know what his habits were. Roy said it is apparent from the man’s belongings that he is an “avid outdoors man who is very well equipped but he seems to have just vanished.”

The RCMP dog handler did not find anything yesterday.

“It’s such a busy area for people, animals and the bear activity made it difficult for the dog to find a scent,” Roy said.

They are several black bears in the area due to the salmon running.


Paul Tayes, a 56 year old Surrey resident, was camping at the park on Kootenay Lake. RCMP said he was last seen on Tuesday night by campsite attendants when he paid for his site.

He is described as 5’9”, 180 pounds with blue eyes and brown hair.

Nelson Search and Rescue (SAR) are conducting a search in an area 20 kilometres north of Nelson.

Tayes had intended to spend only one night as he was making his way from Cranbrook. However attendants noticed his belongs were still at the campsite for the past two days with no sight of the man.

A search of his trailer and vehicle located all his personal belongings. Nelson Search and Rescue along with Creston and South Columbia SAR, are being assisted by the RCMP dog handler and a local helicopter. The search began last evening and is continuing at this time.

Tayes has no known medical conditions and this behaviour is out of character for him. Enquiries reveal he planned on camping for one evening at this location then travelling to Summitt Lake. His family in the Lower Mainland has been notified of his disappearance and are quite concerned.

Chris Armstrong of Nelson Search and Rescue said that the search area is big as a person can travel far in two days but SAR is focusing on the Kokanee Creek Park area.

Coincidently 145 SAR members from the East Kootenay and Okanagan will be arriving this afternoon for the annual Interregional SAR training exercise that begins tomorrow at the park.

Check for further updates.

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