Water rescue crews called to assist search for missing London, Ont. man

Emergency crews are searching for a missing person near the Thames River in central London, Ont.

The London Fire Department (LFD) confirms they assisted London police Tuesday morning in the search for a missing 75-year-old man.

Platoon Chief Dave Hood says LFD water and ice rescue crew was dispatched to Gibbons Park, shortly after daybreak.

They were looking for any sign of Mohamad Wali Ali along the Thames River. London police say he went missing around 5:30 pm in the area of Sarnia Road and Wonderland Road.

Hood says a new development sent his crews to the river’s edge.

A London police boat is seen on the Thames River in London, Ont. on Feb. 22, 2022. (Sean Irvine/CTV London)

“This morning, around 6:30, there was a report of a person, down by the river, that somewhat matched the description of that person. So, we are assisting police in making sure that person did not get in the river.”

Water rescue crews searched the Thames river from Gibbons Park through downtown to Wonderland and Riverside using non-motorized craft.

Following their search, a motorized London police boat entered the water.

At this point, there has been no word of any clues into the disappearance of Wali Ali. Hood says police continue a ground-level search.

Wali Ali is described as Middle Eastern, with a medium build, grey beard, and grey short hair. He was last seen wearing an army green winter Jacket, dark blue jeans, a winter hat, and white running shoes with blue and red on them.

mohamad wali ali 1 5790908 1645539676696Missing London, Ont. man Mohamad Wali Ali in this undated photo.

Police are asking the public in the area of Wonderland and Sarnia Roads to search their properties, outbuildings and vehicles.

As the search continues, Hood has a general advisory to London residents. With persistent rain for the next several hours, he says it’s vital people stay away from waterways.

“We want to remind people to stay away from the river banks, especially the snow and ice shelf at the side of the river. It’s not safe at all.”


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