A close friend and hiking partner of Julian Sands said it is obvious “something has gone wrong” after the British actor’s disappearance in California’s San Gabriel Mountains.
Sands, 65, was reported missing more than two weeks ago after he failed to return from a hike in the Mount Baldy region.
Numerous searches for the actor have since been undertaken on foot and by air by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and other agencies.
Fellow actor Kevin Ryan told the PA news agency Sands is “the most advanced hiker I know” and would not go on a hike unprepared.
Sitting on the edge of my seat for #JulianSands Days are passing and I’m staying hopeful. Thank you to the support teams in place & all rescue efforts working diligently to find him. I know how experienced he is & I am on my hands & knees praying he’s ok. I know he can survive.— Kevin J Ryan (@KevinRyanII) January 21, 2023
“For me, each day that does go by puts more pressure and I guess brings a lot of doubt in,” Ryan, 38, said.
“But Julian is such an advanced hiker. It’s what he did. His whole life he was climbing mountains. It was a true passion of his.”
“He is beyond experienced and I’m hoping that he’s tucked away somewhere and can pull through.”
The pair met on the set of 2014 US drama series Crossbones and developed a friendship which saw them go hiking together.
Ryan, who has climbed Mount Baldy a number of times, said: “You’ve got to think about that mountain.
“You can go there during the summer heat and it’s a different mountain than it is during the winter, especially with how heavy the weather has hit that area – that’s a whole new trail.
“But that is something that Julian would have seen as a challenge, to go up in those conditions. He likes to push himself and he’s done that.
“And like anything, that makes you better, to push yourself in life. But in this situation, it’s a very tricky, dangerous hike with these weather conditions.
“And obviously something has gone wrong. Hopefully with time we’ll find out and hopefully it’ll be the best result.”
An aerial search was halted on Thursday when helicopters were grounded due to strong winds.
Authorities have used a Recco device, which is able to detect electronics and credit cards, with the sheriff’s department saying it is “hopeful” the technology will help to establish a more exact area in which to focus search efforts.
Ryan added: “The only reason I’m not out there joining the search party is because I’m filming right now in Ireland, otherwise I would be out there to give my support.”
He thanked the “relentless” efforts of the sheriff’s department and support teams leading the search for Sands.