‘Recovery mission’ continues for missing Abbotsford man

On Thursday morning, Mike Vang was in his boat slowly searching the waters by Island 22 in Chilliwack. He has been on the water each day, since his brother, Christopher Vang, was swept away on Monday evening.

An Abbotsford resident, Christopher was fishing with two friends in the Peg Leg area on the Fraser River, when one of the men fell into the water. During the rescue attempt, all three men ended up in the river.

Only two made it back to shore.

On Thursday morning, Mike Vang was in his boat slowly searching the waters by Island 22 in Chilliwack. He has been on the water each day, since his brother, Christopher Vang, was swept away on Monday evening.

An Abbotsford resident, Christopher was fishing with two friends in the Peg Leg area on the Fraser River, when one of the men fell into the water. During the rescue attempt, all three men ended up in the river.

Only two made it back to shore.

A dive team was called out but were unable to search due to the strong current.  The RCMP, air services, and search and rescue continued their search.

Christopher’s family and friends soon joined in, but so far, he has not been found.

It’s been three days and his brother knows the outlook is bleak.

“I’m out here, but there’s really nothing I can do. I don’t have sonar,” said Mike. “Search and Rescue is here now … he may be stuck under something.”

Christopher, 24, worked as a mechanic in Abbotsford.

“I love to fish, and I had him out a few times,” said Mike.

According to the Chilliwack RCMP, this is the second time in two weeks that the area has been responsible for lost fishermen.

“It’s very tragic and upsetting for everyone involved in the search,” said Const. Tracy Wolbeck.

The RCMP have confirmed that the search for Christopher is now a “recovery mission” rather than a rescue.

A Facebook site, called MissingChrisVang, has been created and is asking people to volunteer their time to help in the search.

Comments on the site include “His one-of-a-kind heart and heroic spirit deserves better” and “his family is looking forward to bring closure to this ordeal.”

Anyone who wants to aid in continuing the search can contact Mike at 778-808-0996.

“I just want to say to everybody who has put an effort out to help, to hang posters and to search … my family and I appreciate it so much … I can never properly thank them for their effort.”