Body of missing elder found near Hot Springs Cove

Hot Springs Cove, BC

The search for Hesquiaht elder Harry Lucas has come to a tragic end today when his body was found in Clayoquot Sound. 
A ground search crew from Hot Springs Cove located the 80-year-old’s remains on a beach near the remote village north of Tofino. Lucas had gone missing on New Year’s Eve during a trip in his skiff from Tofino to Hot Springs Cove. He landed briefly in Ahousaht at the General Store at about 3 p.m., but did not make to his final destination.
Resident Marilyn Lucas told Ha-Shilth-Sa Lucas’ remains were found on the morning of Saturday, Jan. 2 at a beach she identified as Muchasnit, just inside the north entrance to the cove.
Pieces of the light blue wooden cabin began appearing on the shoreline inside of Hot Springs Cove on Saturday morning. Just as search boats were being called to the area, a resident of the cove who was looking over local beaches reported the discovery. 
In a social media statement written on behalf of Moses Lucas, who is Harry’s younger brother, he confirmed that his brother was found deceased. He thanked searchers from neighboring nations Ahousaht and Tla-o-qui-aht for their assistance. He also thanked members of the Hesquiaht community that participated in both the boat and ground searches. 
“Our hearts are heavy today. We join the Lucas family and all of our Hesquiaht family in grieving this terrible loss,” said Hesquiaht Chief Councillor Joshua Charleson in a statement. “Our community of Hot Springs Cove and our entire nation are devastated by this tragedy.”
“Hesquiaht First Nation wants to sincerely thank the Ahousaht Search and Rescue team, The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, The Canadian Coast Guard and HSC EOC and Hesquiaht community members for their tireless efforts to locate Elder Lucas and bring him home safe,” added Charleson.
Lucas was a fluent speaker of the Nuu-chah-nulth language. He leaves behind his wife, Yvonne, their children and grandchildren.

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