A YORK man has finally found his long-lost father after a tireless search that took him to the other side of the Atlantic.

Chris Silke, 27, last saw his dad, Barrie, when he was a baby, and living in Scotland.

Despite years searching for him, Chris's efforts had come to nothing, until an internet search revealed he was living near the small Canadian town of Kamloops.

With a new wife and a baby on the way, Chris decided to bite the bullet and flew over to Canada two weeks ago, enlisting the help of the local paper.

"I took an ad out in the paper and they ran a story on me," said Chris, who works at Norwich Union. "I was flabbergasted at the response from people who had lived with my dad or worked with him.

"Then a lady called Peggy Young took it upon herself to find him. She had spent a long time looking for her sister and knew what I was going through.

"Peggy found my dad and called him and he just burst into tears. He couldn't believe I'd flown all that way to find him."

Chris, of Hambleton Terrace, York, was staying in a youth hostel and only had two days left in Canada when he received news of his father's whereabouts.

Although he tried to phone him several times, the pair were not able to speak to each other, but have since exchanged emails. They are now planning a reunion.

"I'm ecstatic, I haven't stopped talking about it and I'm just bouncing off the walls at the moment," said Chris.

"I'm desperate to talk to him. It's been a lifelong ambition to find him, I've always felt like there's been something missing."

Four years ago, Chris's journey led him to his father's brother and sister, who were also seeking to establish contact with him. Chris said it was not important why his father had not been in touch for so long.

"He's a really independent guy, like me," he said.

"I'm sure we'll talk about it, but it's not important. I just can't wait to see him, the first chance that I get, I'm off."

Updated: 10:26 Friday, July 16, 2004