Julian Sands was reported missing Jan. 13 after failing to return from a hike on Mt. Baldy in California, but officials are still hopeful for his return.
As rescue efforts continue for the 65-year-old actor in the San Gabriel Mountains, Mara Rodriguez, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department public information officer, said the search is still on to find Sands.
“We have not transitioned into recovery at this point,” Rodriguez told Fox News Digital.
“It’s still considered a search and rescue mission. We don’t have any kind of set date for that, but it’s definitely something that we’re keeping in mind.”
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“We are still conducting searches as weather and conditions allow,” Rodriguez said. “Right now, those are still just by air because of the icy conditions and such on the mountain. But unfortunately, nothing new has developed.”
Rodriguez said it was not “typical” to locate a missing hiker after a significant time-lapse, but crews are still maintaining hope.
“It’s happened before, but it’s not typical. Usually we’re able to locate people within a fairly short amount of time, but it has happened in the past,” she said of teams finding distressed hikers following long-term disappearances.
Conditions on the mountain have been especially dangerous lately. Ground crews were forced to call off the search at one point due to avalanche risk and worsening weather conditions.
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“However, we did continue efforts by helicopter and by drone as the weather permitted,” authorities confirmed to Fox News Digital at the time.
Last month, Rodriguez issued a public service advisory urging hikers to “think twice” before heading up to Mt. Baldy following “14 rescues in the last four weeks.”
Of the 14 rescue missions conducted by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Teams, two hikers did not survive after “falling and injuring themselves.”
“Due to the high winds, the snow has turned to ice making hiking extremely dangerous,” the release said. “Sheriff’s Search and Rescue efforts are often hampered by poor weather along with dangerous avalanche conditions. The recent storms that brought the snow and ice conditions are not favorable for hikers, even those that feel they have a high level of experience.”
Rodriguez noted that since the release was posted on Jan. 18, at least one major rescue has happened each weekend. “We’re verging on 20 rescues now.”
“We’ve had a lot of fairly extreme weather, a lot of snow fall and the winds have been crazy,” she said. “That doesn’t help with ice conditions, you know? It’s probably a little more extreme than some years, but it’s definitely not out of character.”
Jin Chung, a 75-year-old Los Angeles resident, was rescued from Mt. Baldy on Jan. 24 after failing to return to his carpool group’s designated meeting spot. Chung suffered “weather-related injuries and a leg injury but was able to walk out with the assistance of the crew members. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment.”
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Days later, air crews conducted a technical ice hoist rescue for 71-year-old Abdollah Katbab after he fell approximately 50 feet while hiking Ice House Canyon on Mt. Baldy.
Katbab activated a location device which notified emergency services of his whereabouts, and due to the treacherous conditions, Sheriff’s Helicopter Air Rescue 306 was sent out to rescue Katbab.
Air Rescue 306 safely performed a hoist rescue at approximately 8,400 feet elevation. Authorities said that both exposure to the elements and falls have contributed to the growing mortality rate on Mt. Baldy through the years, with the risk of avalanches prolonging rescue efforts.
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Sands’ brother Nick admitted he had already said his “goodbyes” following weeks of search efforts.
“I have come to terms with the fact he’s gone and for me that’s how I’ve dealt with it,” he told the BBC last month.
“We are all still hoping I guess, but I know he’s gone in my mind and because of that I’ve already said my goodbyes.”
Sands was an “extremely advanced hiker,” his friend Kevin Ryan told Fox News Digital late last month. Ryan and Sands met while working on “Crossbones” together.
“It’s an incredibly hard hike with those weather conditions,” Ryan said. “You’re talking about six to eight to nine hours to get to the summit, and when it’s icy, it’s very challenging. I know Julian is an extremely advanced hiker and very strong-willed. He’s very, very fit. And we’re holding out strong that it’ll be a positive return for him.”
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He noted that California’s recent “wet weather” was not helping with rescue efforts on the dangerous mountain.
“I think weather conditions are a big aspect of this, why they can’t get to some of those areas,” Ryan said. He is still holding out hope, though.
“One of the things, as I said, is how advanced Julian is, and he’s a smart guy, and I’m remaining hopeful that he’s holding out and, you know, surviving.”
He added, “I know how strong [he] is, and I know how smart he is and how prepared he is. So, I’m holding out. If anyone can get through this, he can. And that’s all I have to rely on right now. So I’m sticking with that and saying a prayer for him.”
Sands is known for his roles in “The Killing Fields,” “A Room With A View,” “Leaving Las Vegas” and “Warlock.”
He has also appeared in “Ocean’s 13,” “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “Arachnophobia,” “Boxing Helena” and “Medallion.”
The British actor has two daughters with wife Evgenia Citkowitz. He also has a son from a previous marriage.
Fox News Digital’s Larry Fink contributed to this report.