While one Whatcom family received some closure this week, two other families are still waiting.
Last weekend, the Bellingham Mountain Rescue Council, with the help of the Mt. Baker Ski Patrol, Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue Unit, the U.S. Navy and the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office recovered the body of Vitaliy Datskiy, 24, who had been missing since Jan. 21. He had been snowboarding with friends at Mt. Baker Ski Area.
But the rescue group's work is not finished.
"We still have two missing snowboarders from early winter missing in the Heather Meadows area," Bellingham Mountain Rescue Council president Chris Ellis said in an email late Tuesday.
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Those missing snowboarders are Jake Amancio, 22, and Drew Lenz, 20, of Bellingham, who were reported overdue by a roommate Nov. 12 when they didn’t return from a planned day of backcountry snowboarding in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Teams from several agencies, aided by volunteers and family members, searched for nearly a week without finding any sign of either man as winter storms battered the North Cascades.
It was actually family members still out looking that helped find Datskiy, Ellis said. They spotted a snowboard sticking up out of the snow on a cliff band around the Chair One area of the Mt. Baker Ski Area.
Datskiy's sister, Galina Datskaya, posted on Facebook that a memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Slavic Gospel Church, 276 Harvest Way, inviting "those who have had the honor and privilege of meeting my brother, Vitaliy, and for those who may have never met him but would like to attend." A second service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday at the same location before the burial service in Ferndale.
The service will be held in Russian and English and shown on the church's YouTube channel, according to Datskaya's posts.