British Columbia search for boy trimmed

Feb. 18, 2008 at 8:07 AM

TOFINO, British Columbia, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Canadian officials on Monday scaled back the search on Vancouver Island for a 7-year-old boy from Washington state who has been missing since Friday.

William Pilkenton of Bellingham, Wash., was left alone briefly while walking with his father along the rugged British Columbia coast near Tofino on Friday, triggering a search that involved more than 200 people, the Times Colonist newspaper in Victoria reported Monday.

Saturday and Sunday, commercial divers using sonar, the Coast Guard, local Indian bands, police, staff members of the Department of Fisheries and Parks Canada and volunteer boaters scoured the area near where the boy was last scene, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokesman said.

RCMP Constable Susan Boyes said Sunday the decision to scale back the search was "difficult" but said odds of the boy's survival given the time elapsed were very slim.

She said Monday's search would involve the RCMP and Coast Guard and civilian searchers, the newspaper said.

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