WINNIPEG — A day after RCMP called off the search for a missing snowmobiler, his brother is remembering him and thanking everyone for their support.
Wayne LeMay said his brother Danny was kind, generous and loyal to a fault.
He said the family is still processing what has happened.
“We’re all dealing with this in different (ways). Grief is different for some,” said Wayne. “It’s been a pretty exhausting last couple of days and so we’re just trying to figure out what the next steps are. We know that this process isn’t done but we’re just sort of on that journey.”
Danny was reported missing on Sunday evening and RCMP called off the search for the 50-year-old on Tuesday and said he is presumed dead.
RCMP said during the search for Danny they found tracks leading to water where there was a broken section of ice and there were no snowmobile tracks going away from the area.
Wayne said even though his brother is still considered missing, he knows what happened based on what the search team found.
“The exhaustive search, it was so thorough that when we got the news of tracks going to open water, it was beyond a doubt that that’s what happened because he wasn’t anywhere.”
He also thanked all those who helped in the search for Danny including those who worked behind the scenes, saying everyone left it out there on the trails.
The news of Danny going missing has not only been tough on his family but also the entire town of Grunthal, where he is from.
“The LeMays have been part of the community for a long time,” said Jim Funk who is a councillor for the area, “His mom and dad used to have a shop in town, very well-known people and very liked.”
In the wake of Danny going missing, Wayne said a GoFundMe page has been set up to help his family, as he has three sons.
“It becomes a bit of a long process that we don’t really know when the end is going to be in sight. But things like household bills, property taxes, those kinds of things still keep happening … we just want to make sure something is there.”
He added that the family has also received so many calls from people looking for a way to help out and the GoFundMe will give them that avenue to help, he said.
Wayne said during times like this, it really shows the importance of family and he also had a message for those who are snowmobilers or outdoors people.
“It’s also one of those hard lessons that it wasn’t a smart idea heading out by himself. In the Whiteshell, in that park, you have to be careful all the time,” he said. “It’s just a reminder, always be safe out there, follow those guidelines. (Danny) did a lot of things right. People knew where he was supposed to be going and when he was supposed to be back and it just went wrong.”
Snoman, which is an organization in charge of snowmobiling in the province, said when an avid rider is lost the entire community feels it.
The organization said there are also things that can be done to stay safer while sledding.
“We always ask snowmobilers to ride with a friend. Always let someone know where you’re going, your expected time of return. If you’re riding with a group of people, stop every little while and make sure everyone is still there,” said Yvonne Rideout, who is the executive director of the organization.
Wayne again thanked everyone for their support and said the family is reading every single message they receive.
– With files from CTV’s Mason DePatie and Touria Izri.
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