Father of Missing Ski Instructor Wants to See Improvements to Search and Rescue Technology

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NORDEN --

For Mike May and his family, skiing is a way of life.

"Skiing is big in our family, we're going to love and remember Carson as we're out there taking runs in the future,” Mike May said.

The past five days, former Paralympic skier, Mike May watched helplessly as hundreds of searchers fanned out across Sugar Bowl looking for his son, Carson, in the bitter cold and heavy snow.

Mike May listened to searchers on the radio.

"I heard all of these folks out there on the ground on skis, snow shoes, huffing and puffing, searching around for Carson tree well by tree well,” Mike May said.

He says last Thursday his two sons were skiing together at Sugar Bowl.

They separated intentionally, but Carson, a ski instructor at the resort, hasn’t been seen since.

The formal search was called off Tuesday afternoon.

"One is always hoping for a miracle or for information, for a clue,”Mike May said.

The only trace of Carson May was one ping from his cell phone early in the search.  Now his father is focused on ways technology can be better used in search and rescue.

"If you don’t have a person’s passwords, it’s hard to get in and do the 'find my phone.' If they don’t have that feature turned on, then it’s not all that helpful,” Mike May said.

May believes if authorities could have accessed his son’s cell phone information they might have had better luck in the 30 hours before the battery died.

He also wishes things like sting rays and drones were available to aid in the search.

Mike May says beacons also could have helped.  The devices help skiers if they get buried or lost in the snow.

Mike May hopes this is a learning experience for others, as his family figures out how to move forward after the search for his son ended with no resolution.

“Everybody is not going to forget this because the parking lot is empty.  Carson is very much in the hearts of many people around the world,” Mike May said.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information to contact them.