JUDIQUE INTERVALE: The search for 32-year-old Jason William McGrath was suspended at sunset last Thursday evening.
On July 9, Jason McGrath left the Cape George area around noon in a kayak. The kayak and a life jacket were located at approximately 5:30 p.m. on July 11 on the western shore of Inverness County near Gillis Pond, in Judique Interval.
An extensive search was conducted, and the RCMP was assisted by several Ground Search and Rescue teams, the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, and the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources. As of last week, searchers covered 89 square kilometres, including all of Henry Island, a small island near Judique Intervale. The RCMP Underwater Recovery Team assisted with the search and was on-site last weekend.
On Monday, Cpl. Jennifer Clarke, media relations officer with the Nova Scotia RCMP, said the RCMP Underwater Recovery Team searched the area near Judique Intervale on Saturday and the RCMP used sonar to search the area between Cape George and Judique Intervale.
Last week, the RCMP met with McGrath’s family and briefed them on the results of the search.
On July 13, McGrath’s brother Kevin, made the following post on Facebook.
“As of now, the search has been called off,” the post read. “The decision was made by search and rescue based on past statistics and probabilities of someone in this situation.
“In the coming days, they will be sending a dive team and an RCMP boat equipped with sonar to continue the search,” Kevin McGrath’s Facebook post stated.
“If anything new is found near the search site, search and rescue will be back to continue on.
“And please say a prayer for my lil bro that wherever he is tonight he has a grin on his face and is happy.”
After finding the kayak and life jacketbelonging to McGrath on July 11, searchers concentrated their search on land in Inverness County.
Cpl. Clarke said last week that the search for McGrath continued on July 13 with about 60 people on the ground aided by a Department of Natural Resources helicopter. She confirmed officers were searching in Judique Interval, where the lifejacket and kayak were found.
“I just got a call from the Coast Guard and they found Jason’s kayak and life jacket on the beach not far from Judique,” read a Facebook post from Kevin McGrath on July 11.
“My little brother Jason was at our cottage on [July 9] in Cape George and left in his modified kayak with a homemade sail made from a blue tarp. This kayak was not intended to have a sail. He had also added two large blue water jugs from a water cooler to aid in buoyancy. From speaking to the last person who saw him, we believe he intended to return [July 9] but has not. Jason cannot swim and we are very concerned for his safety.”
McGrath is described as a white male, with light brown hair and hazel eyes. He is 5-foot-8 and 155 pounds. He was wearing a black t-shirt and beige shorts.
Anyone with information on McGrath’s whereabouts is asked to contact Antigonish District RCMP at 902-863-6500. Those who wish to remain anonymous, can also contact Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or text TIP202 plus a message to ‘CRIMES’ (274637) or submit tips by Secure Web Tips at : www.crimestoppers.ns.ca.
The investigation is ongoing.