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Mini helicopter involved in missing man search

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A mini-helicopter has been helping in the search for missing tourist William Grange.

The remote-controlled aircraft has provided a bird's-eye view over wooded areas and coastline near Cambridge Beaches resort, where Mr Grange had been staying when he went missing a week ago today.

“It's pretty heart wrenching, seeing this happen to a tourist or anybody. He comes down here for a few days and this happens. The fact that he still hasn't been found is just not right,” said Connor Burns of Bermuda Aerial Media, which operates the DJI S800 helicopter.

“If he's hiding in a shed, obviously the helicopter isn't going to be very useful, but if he was going for a hike and got stuck, if he slipped on the rocks and wound up in a crevice, that's where we could be very useful.”

The aerial resource is just part of a growing search operation in the west end.

Bermuda Regiment soldiers, Customs officers and prison wardens have joined police in looking for 67-year-old Mr Grange.

A police spokesman confirmed that more than 100 volunteers, including residents and visitors, had swelled the ranks of the search party.

Mr Grange, 67, was staying at Cambridge Beaches, in Sandys, when he went missing after going for a walk at around 10pm on May 2. The retired lawyer suffers from short-term memory loss and requires daily medication for his condition. Police have classified the search as high priority.

Yesterday two Police Marine Unit boats with a contingent of family members began a boat-to-boat search of moored vessels in the Mangrove Bay area.

In addition, 30 land-based police officers along with several police cadets are now conduct further searches in various areas. All hospital facilities have been checked without success and officers continue to follow up on all alleged sightings of the visitor Island-wide. Police sniffer dogs have also been deployed in the search.

Cambridge Beaches staff and guests have also continued to search for Mr Grange and resort managers have been calling on volunteers for support.

“We have had a great response from our calls for volunteers, for our scheduled 11am and 6pm community searches at Cambridge Beaches,” director Alexis Roberts said.

“We would like to notify the public that we will continue to have these scheduled community searches, until further notice. For anyone interested in assisting Cambridge Beaches staff and the Grange family, please meet at the front reception area.

“Please remain vigilant as every set of eyes is critical. Many thanks to the community for their continued support, during this difficult time.”

The search has gained international attention, with Toronto newspaper The Star highlighting the efforts to locate Mr Grange.

He was last seen wearing beige pants, a blue shirt, brown jacket and brown shoes. He is described as a white male, 5ft 9in tall, with white hair and by now likely a few days beard growth.

Anyone who may have seen or who may have any information on the whereabouts of Mr Grange is urged to contact the main police telephone number 295-0011 immediately, reporting all relevant information.

Missing man: William Grange
Eye in the sky: Connor Burns and EJ Burrows with remote-controlled camera-equipped mini helicopter which has been used in the search for missing man William Grange.
Eye in the sky: Connor Burns and EJ Burrows with remote-controlled camera-equipped mini helicopter which has been used in the search for missing man William Grange.

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Published May 09, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated May 09, 2014 at 12:19 am)

Mini helicopter involved in missing man search

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