Volunteers travel from L.A. to Greece in search of missing retired deputy

The search for a retired Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy who went missing on the Greek island of Amorgos was reinforced Friday with the arrival of two “waves” of volunteers from Southern California.

The additional volunteers come days after the brother of the missing man pleaded in a YouTube video for the U.S. government to provide assistance.

“I need help here, and I don’t think I’m asking that much here,” Oliver Calibet said in a video posted Sunday. “This is a U.S. citizen who needs to be brought home.... I just want to find my brother. Please support any way you can.”

“This could be your brother,” Calibet said.

Albert Calibet, 59, of Hermosa Beach was reported missing on June 11 after he embarked on what was expected to be a four-hour hike and never returned.

His disappearance has prompted a large search effort on the Greek island and family and friends have traveled to help locate him. A fundraiser was set up on GoFundMe to post updates and collect money to further help Calibet’s rescue.

A post on Friday on the fundraising page said that the second wave of volunteers had just arrived after completing three flights and one ferry ride totaling 30 hours of transcontinental travel. It’s unclear exactly how many Southern California volunteers are involved in the search.

“It’s Day 11,” Oliver Calibet, the brother of the missing man, said in a video. “We’re going up and down these walls ... and we’re just searching, and we’re going to keep on searching.”

Albert Calibet worked for the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s transit services bureau from 1998 until his retirement in 2018, according to a statement issued by the department. After his retirement, he worked as a part-time employee.

He was no stranger to Amorgos, visiting the island “almost every year” for the last decade, according to Popi Despotidi, the island’s deputy mayor of tourism.

“It is strange because he is not a person who walked the route for the first time,” Despotidi told the news organization Greek Reporter. “He knows Amorgos better than me.”

According to the Greek Reporter, Albert Calibet left about 7 a.m. for the hike. When he had not returned around 3:30 p.m., a friend of his reported him missing.

Although he was hiking with two cellphones, Calibet has not responded to attempts to reach him via phone.

According to news reports, his last known contact is when he sent his sister a photo of a trail sign.

In a statement, L.A. County Sheriff Robert Luna expressed hope that Calibet will be brought home safely.

“We are actively collaborating with multiple agencies abroad to provide assistance in the search for Deputy Calibet and will use every resource we have available to bring him back to those who love him,” Luna said in the statement.

Times staff writer Summer Lin contributed to this report.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.