Search called off for Winnipeg sailor missing from Canadian navy ship, military says

The search for a master sailor who went missing in the waters west of San Francisco has ended, the Canadian military says.

Duane Earle, 47, of Winnipeg is believed to have accidentally fallen overboard HMCS Winnipeg early Monday, about 925 kilometres off the coast. A 30-hour search ended Tuesday evening, but Earle’s body was not found, National Defence said in a statement.

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce that we have concluded our active search for Master Sailor Earle,” Rear Admiral Brian Santarpia, maritime component commander, said in a statement.

“This decision was not taken lightly. However, after extensive coverage of the search area we have not been able to locate him.”

The ship was returning to Esquimalt, B.C., after being deployed to the Asia-Pacific region. With the search concluded, HMCS Winnipeg will continue to B.C., the statement said.

Duane Earle, 47, of Winnipeg is believed to have accidentally fallen overboard HMCS Winnipeg early Monday. (Valerie LeClair/MARPAC Imaging Services)

The Canadian Armed Forces will conduct an investigation into the circumstances around how Earle went missing, the statement said.

The current HMCS Winnipeg has been in service since 1996 and has approximately 230 officers and sailors.