Home » Search for missing adventurer Dirk (54) in the Azores moves to a deep ravine: “But it will be extremely difficult” (De Haan)

Search for missing adventurer Dirk (54) in the Azores moves to a deep ravine: “But it will be extremely difficult” (De Haan)

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Adventurer Dirk Denis disappeared on February 25 after a walk around a crater lake in Portugal. Right: Dirk with his niece Rani Van Droogenbroeck. — © IF

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After a week, there is still no trace of Dirk Denis (54) in the Azores, the adventurer who disappeared around Lagoa do Fogo on February 25. The search was revived on Monday: the police and fire brigade, together with a specialized climbing team, searched a deep ravine next to a transmission tower. “It’s not going to be easy. It looks like a jungle there,” his family said.

In the meantime, people in Portugal have been searching with all their might for Dirk Denis from Wenduine, the adventurer who disappeared around a crater lake in the Azores, for over a week. The man took a long walk there on Sunday February 25 and was to be picked up by his partner in the evening. He waited for nine hours at the agreed location, but Dirk never showed up.

“It looks like a jungle”

A team of about ten searchers, dogs, drones: the Portuguese police spared no effort for a whole week to find Dirk around Lagoa do Fogo, a crater lake on an old volcano more than 500 meters high. Without result. The search was temporarily stopped on Friday.

“It’s not easy,” says his niece Rani Van Droogenbroeck, who saw her mother Rachella travel to Portugal. “She did the walk herself, and it turns out to be a real jungle there. There is also a tall planting under all those trees. Anyone who falls in the wrong place may never be seen again.” (read more below the photo)

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Dirk Denis (left) and his niece Rani Van Droogenbroeck (right). — © IF

The hope that their uncle will still turn up safe and sound after a disappearance of eight days is therefore small. Although the Portuguese are not giving up. “The search was revived on Monday,” says Rani. “A special team of fire brigade and police will descend a deep, dangerous ravine in the hope of finding a trail. There is even a special car with a stretcher ready to take him away if the search yields anything.”

It involves a descent next to a transmission tower. It is not immediately clear whether he has registered a signal from Dirk’s smartphone.

Judge’s permission

In the meantime, time passes mercilessly. At some point, the Portuguese investigators will have to abandon their search again. “That often happens after ten days, because the judge must give permission for such an investigation,” says Rani. “And now eight have already passed. Is this effectively the search of the last chance? We don’t know, because maybe they do something further. We certainly keep our courage up. But the police also told us that they had to deal with the same file last year, and that person was never found again.”

Dirk’s family therefore hopes that they can recover (at least) a body remains. “So that we can process this and close it,” it sounds. “It will be extremely difficult to find him, so we now fear that we will never know the true facts. Let us therefore hope that this new search will still yield something.”

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