Search continues for missing hero

RCMP continue their search today for a man who vanished in the Yukon River while saving his son from drowning.

RCMP continue their search today for a man who vanished in the Yukon River while saving his son from drowning.

Benji Correos, 45, has been missing since Thursday afternoon when he jumped into the river near the intake to save his seven-year-old son, Myles, who fell into the fast current during a family outing.

Both were nearly swept away but two bystanders jumped in and grabbed Myles after his father held him above water as long as he could.

Correos lost consciousness before he could be rescued and was swept away.

RCMP have yet to find him or any evidence of his whereabouts along the riverbank.

“It’s fair to say at this point, given the length of time, we’re focusing on a body recovery as opposed to a search-and-rescue,” said Whitehorse RCMP Cpl. Grant MacDonald on Wednesday.

The RCMP plane and boat have been used in the search. Officers have combed the area from the dam to the mouth of the river at Lake Leberge.

Police are unsure how long they’ll continue to look for Correos, said MacDonald.

“We’re hoping we can locate the individual to help bring some closure to the family,” he said.

“Knowing the river is high, very swift and very cold, it’s more difficult to conduct a thorough search.”

Asked how Myles and his mother, Josie, are doing, a family friend said that depends on the hour.

“It’s been hard and it won’t be an easy walk to make,” said Joanne Green.

“The search continues. I spoke with Josie last night and she asked anybody who’s down by the river to keep an eye out.”

The Filipino community was organizing its own search party but MacDonald said the RCMP had not heard if they found anything related to Correos. He doesn’t recommend people head out on their own to search along the unstable riverbanks.

“We don’t want another person falling in,” he said.

The RCMP remind parents to be extra cautious when allowing children to play near the river.

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