Ryan Daley and Dan Archbald were last seen leaving Ucluelet’s inner boat basin on foot on May 16. (Photo - RCMP)

UPDATE: Major Crime Unit takes over investigation into missing B.C. men last seen in Ucluelet

The disappearance of Daniel Archbald and Ryan Daley has been deemed suspicious.

The disappearance of Daniel Archbald and Ryan Daley has been deemed suspicious and the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit has taken over the investigation.

“We ask anyone who has any information as to Daniel and Ryan’s whereabouts or anyone who may have seen them or talked to them between May 13 to 16 to call police immediately,”said Cpl. Madonna Saunderson through a news release published Wednesday. “We are continuing our investigation into Daniel and Ryan’s disappearance and have no evidence to suggest that this case is linked to any other missing person investigation at this time.”

Police are asking anyone who may have any information about the two men’s whereabouts to contact the Major Crimes Unit at 250-380-6211 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

“Any information, even if you think it’s too small, could be helpful,” said Sgt. Steve Mancini of the Ucluelet RCMP.

Archbald, 37, and Daley, 43, were last seen leaving Ucluelet’s inner boat basin on-foot on May 16. They had arrived in Ucluelet on May 13 after a roughly eight-week sailing trip from Panama.

“Since being reported missing, Ucluelet RCMP have pursued a number of investigative avenues in an effort to locate them. These efforts included a search of the area they were last seen by the local Search and Rescue team as well as an aerial search. Police have deemed their disappearance suspicious and the investigation has now been turned over to VIIMCU,” Wednesday’s release states.

Westcoast Inland Search and Rescue joined the search for the two men last week, but stood down over the weekend, according to WISAR manager Garth Cameron.

“RCMP has put us on a stand-by, dormant, state,” Cameron said. “They’re wading through mountains of information and, if something comes out of that, absolutely we’ll respond. Until that time, we’re on stand-by…If something comes up, we’re ready to go.”

Cameron said WISAR’s roughly 30-member team put in about “850 volunteer hours,” scouring areas up to 500 metres off Highway 4.

“The corridor search went from Port Alberni all the way to Ucluelet. All the popular camping sites have been checked out. All the side-roads have been checked out,” he said. “It’s a search. You’re always optimistic. You stick to the facts and you do the best job possible. You just do it. You don’t hold back any effort whatsoever.”

Security footage shows both men leaving Ucluelet’s inner boat basin on-foot on May 16 and their vessel is still docked at the local dock where Ucluelet harbour manager Kevin Cortes was the last known person to see them.

Cortes told the Westerly News that Daley had paid for a month’s worth of moorage before the two men departed.

“[Daley] came into my office and asked what the amount was. He wasn’t sure before that if he wanted to stay a couple of days, but he decided to spend the month. I worked out the numbers for him. He left my office, came back with some cash, and paid me,” Cortes said.

A Facebook page has been set up for the missing men, and a GoFundMe account has already raised more than $18,000.

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