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Search for missing ice sailor in N.B. continues into Friday


The daughter of a missing ice sailor in the Shediac Bay, N.B., area is hopeful he's alive

Search teams were looking for Daniel Robichaud, a 64-year-old from Grand-Digue, N.B., on Thursday afternoon.

In an update to the RCMP New Brunswick account on X, formerly Twitter, on Friday afternoon, police said they were continuing the search for Robichaud, but did not have any new information.

According to Lt.-Cmdr. Len Hickey with the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, Robichaud went missing while ice sailing Wednesday afternoon.

Robichaud was last seen on the shore of Martin Street in Grand-Digue around 1:30 p.m. According to a news release from the RCMP, it’s believed he was sailing in the Shediac Island and Grand-Digue area.

"Right now I’m still kind of hopeful that they’re going to find something, hopefully," said Christel Robichaud, the missing man's daughter. "I’m kind of hoping he’s on the island and just sheltering over there.”

Robichaud’s girlfriend, Rachelle Strugnell, called the RCMP when she couldn’t find him. She told CTV News he’s usually home by 3 p.m. and she started to worry when she hadn’t heard from him by 4 p.m.

Crews responded to the call around 5:30 p.m. and searched until 11 p.m. Wednesday.

The RCMP continued to search the Shediac Bay and Shediac Island area Thursday morning. A helicopter could be seen circling the island and a snowmobile was on the ice.

Crews search for a missing ice sailor in the Shediac Bay area. (Source: Derek Haggett/CTV News Atlantic)

Police describe Robichaud as five-foot-eight and 165 pounds. He has light brown eyes and grey hair with a trimmed grey beard. Police say he was last seen wearing a burnt orange winter jacket, black snow pants, as well as protective equipment such as white hockey shin pads, white hockey shoulder pads, and a black hockey helmet.

Danny Desroches, chief for the Beausoleil Fire Department, told CTV News Atlantic the missing man is an experienced ice sailor who went into the Shediac Bay on a regular basis.

‘He comes out almost every day to do it. A lot of people here, the neighbours see him do it,’ said Desroches.

“We don’t know what happened yet.”

Crews search for a missing ice sailor in the Shediac Bay area. (Source: Derek Haggett/CTV News Atlantic)

Christel Robichaud said her father knows the Shediac Bay area very well.

“Not a lot has happened to him," she said. "I know he’s fallen here and there, but he pretty much knows to look out for patches. That’s why it’s kind of a mystery as to what would have happened to him.”

Close family friend Ed Powers said the sailor was a retired high school teacher and an avid ice sailor.

“Oh yes, he had been doing this for many years. Many, many years,’ he said.

An iceboat is pictured in a handout photo from the RCMP.

“It’s surreal. You have mixed emotions. You have hope,” said Strugnell.

Police ask anyone who has seen Robichaud since 1:30 p.m. Wednesday or has information about his whereabouts to call Shediac RCMP at 506-533-5151.

-With files from Jacob Moore

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