Missing kayaker ‘smart, optimistic young man’

Nearly a week following his disappearance off Hornby Island, the family of 16-year-old kayaker Orlando Graham believes he was the victim of a tragic accident.

Nearly a week following his disappearance off Hornby Island, the family of 16-year-old kayaker Orlando Graham believes he was the victim of a tragic accident.

Speaking on behalf of the family, friend Peter Addison posted on his blog Tuesday the family — including Graham’s parents — believes he was caught in a sudden weather pattern that even a far more experienced paddler would have difficulty navigating.

“We believe he fought hard, but was taken by the sea and dangerous circumstances,” he notes.

According to Comox Valley RCMP, Graham was last seen entering the water at Sandpiper Beach in a red kayak June 29, but failed to return after dark.

Graham’s kayak was discovered early Thursday morning with a pair of shoes and his floatation jacket inside.

Addison describes Graham as a “smart, optimistic young man.”

“He was so happy to have acquired his new kayak, and paddled it all the way to south Hornby from Courtenay just a week and a half before this tragic accident. Orlando had been paddling for several years, and it was his passion to own his boat; paid for with his own money,” he adds.

On the day he left, Addison notes Graham was in good spirits, planning an afternoon and evening paddle, taking a bit of food and asking his mother which water bottle to take.

Despite being a graduate of a paddling course, Addison says Graham “wasn’t a heavily experienced paddler” and was not a strong swimmer.

Along with 58 searches, RCMP note they have worked with 13 members from the fire department, one RCMP dog, one helicopter, a military plane, seven Coast Guard boats, one RCMP boat, one ground search and rescue boat, two civilian boats and four RCMP officers in the search.

Addison writes the family wishes to thank to the search and rescue teams who have contributed to the search.

“We will focus on the love and on the amazing life experience of knowing Orlando, he was a very wonderful person to know,” he notes.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Former worker at Surrey brewery claims he was bullied on the job

Human rights complaint to be heard against Surrey’s Central City Brewers and Distillers Ltd.

Families with dispute-resolution issues to get help in Surrey

Model was first introduced in Victoria in 2019

$2M for Surrey-made brain-health device will help open door to U.S. market

Financing from BDC strengthens HealthTech Connex’s ability ‘to positively impact a billion brains’

‘Magic Wheelchair’ book tells story of thrilled author’s Surrey-area granddaughters

Marlene Bryenton’s storybook explores how kids in wheelchairs are excluded because they are different

COVID-19 exposures at Surrey schools: An updated list

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

Quirky Canadian comedy ‘Schitt’s Creek’ takes Emmys by storm with comedy sweep

Toronto-raised Daniel Levy and Ottawa-born Annie Murphy both got supporting actor nods

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Mission poker player missing in Nevada is found alive and safe

Brad Booth went missing in July 13, found in mid September

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Most Read