Alaska Kayaker Still Missing in Costa Rica

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Almost two weeks ago, 27-year-old Alaskan Cody Dial was reported missing on a kayak trip in Costa Rica.  The missing Dial is the son of Roman Dial, a well-known outdoorsman and Alaska Pacific University wilderness program instructor.

 In a call to KSKA public radio from Costa Rica Wednesday , the elder Dial says the search for his son has turned up nothing so far, and that requests for help from the U.S. by the Costa Rican government have so far not been answered.

Dial has asked that Alaska’s Congressional delegation put pressure on U.S. officials to help. He says the process has stalled in bureaucratic – heavy Washington, DC

“So you know the Costa Rican government had to request help and they had to request it through the state department. And then the state department had to pass it all the way up to the top, to the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of State has to hand it over to the Department of Defense, and over to the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Defense somehow has to trickle down to the right place, and then sort of snap into place and then catch, so that the whole process moves. But it’s been over a week and there is nothing happening.”

 Dial says the Costa Rican Red Cross, which has been assisting in the search since August 1, decided to pull out of the rescue effort about a week ago. Dial says, with a few people expert in climbing and in jungle living, he believes his son can be located.

“We’re not asking for helicopters, we’re not asking for any military, we are just asking for well trained special forces, a small team of six to ten people with rope and the skills to explore these jungle canyons for about a week. And that’s what we are asking for.”

 Dial says that he believes his son is in a dangerous area of Costa Rica’s Corcovado National Park. The area is so hazardous that it is off limits to tourists.

 “We needed some special forces people with training and equipment to help explore these remote, sort of inaccessible canyons and waterfalls near where my son was last seen. And I had spent about a week in there myself exploring and rapelling and stepping over snakes and stuff like that, looking for him. And there were some other canyons that I wasn’t able to get to. And these are places the Red Cross hadn’t looked, because they didn’t have the training to look their either, and my feeling is that’s where he is.”

 Roman Dial’s wife, Peggy said from Anchorage Thursday  that Cody had left Anchorage in December, bound for Mexico and Central America. She says her son is cautious and capable, and kept in touch with his parents through regular email and phone updates. She said that messages stopped coming in mid -July, she thinks about July 15, although she and her husband did not file a missing person report until July 23. Peggy Dial says she has confidence in her son’s jungle survival skills, but she asks Alaskans to contact their top representatives to urge action on a US search team. Peggy Dial says that there are about six people helping her husband search in Costa Rica, although none are acting in a professional capacity.   She added that Cody may have ventured into the off -limits area in order to see an “intact” jungle, although one of the reasons it is prohibited to Park visitors is because of illegal gold mining activities, drug operations and poachers in the area.