A word about a certain “search and rescue service”

I posted about this on the Charley Project’s Facebook page yesterday, and I thought I’d blog about it too, because frankly it really makes me mad.

In yesterday’s updates I added one Dennis Frank Svoboda, who disappeared in 1996. He’s presumed drowned in a fishing accident. While researching his case I found several articles about International K-9 Search and Rescue Services, which is apparently the only for-profit SAR service in the world. It charges $200 an hour.

It turns out this SAR service is pretty shady. A lot of legitimate SAR services and law enforcement agencies won’t have anything to do with it. In an interview, the founder said it’s because people are jealous of his success, something I find unlikely. He also said his SAR dogs have a 97% success rate and other SAR dogs have only a 20% success rate.

I found a mention of Svoboda on the “drownings” section of its website:

96-668-024(C) 01-25-96 Cowlitz Co. Drowning X (2). Dennis Svoboda and Larry Mansur. Two missing fisherman. Missing X 4 days. Searched their favorite fishing holes. Very cold outside. Snowing in hills. Winds from West 0-5 MPH. Air temp..35f. Water 42F. One found by Valorie in 40 feet of water and one found in 60 feet of water. Grief therapy 1 hour with family after debriefing. (Note) Bodies were moved from their location. One by the current the other by water boat traffic-tug boat towing a barge.

Uh, no. Larry Mansur’s body was missing for months, not four days, before it turned up. And Svoboda is still missing. He’s on NamUs and on the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Department MP page and now he’s on Charley too.

I posted a comment on the SAR service’s Facebook page, on a post they made boasting of their “successes” (Svoboda was on the list); I said Svoboda had never been found. My comment got deleted.

It’s pretty disturbing. Stay away from these folks.

5 thoughts on “A word about a certain “search and rescue service”

  1. Sheila Roberts November 17, 2016 / 8:32 pm

    That’s terrible that they claim success on this case. There should be some sort of recourse.

    • Meaghan November 17, 2016 / 8:33 pm

      I firmly agree.

      I have been warned by a friend that the founder of this outfit may go after me for saying bad things about him on my blog: trash me online, threaten to sue me, etc. Bring it on, I say. I haven’t said anything but what’s true, and he can’t do worse than Jennifer Collins has done already.

  2. Brian Lockett November 17, 2016 / 8:50 pm

    I looked around the website and don’t know what to make of the dude. At least he seems to love the dogs involved. The memorial to the late dogs was actually kind of touching, but weird when I saw that – under the dogs’ pics – it says how many dead people it had found.

    • Meaghan November 20, 2016 / 7:38 pm

      Well, lots of evil people love their dogs. Hitler loved Blondi.

      • Brian Lockett November 21, 2016 / 12:26 am

        There’s been a lot of stuff hitting the fan related to a local (to me) MP. Crystal Rogers’ father was killed in a hunting accident this weekend. Or, I should say, killed while hunting. The “accident” part is yet to be determined. That poor girl’s family has been through tragedy after tragedy after tragedy.

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