Master Sailor Earle HMCS Winnipeg
(Master Sailor Duane Earle/photo via HMCS Winnipeg Facebook)

Officials with the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) announced they have ended a search for a missing navy sailor 30 hours since his disappearance.

Master Sailor Duane Earle went missing while deployed in HMCS Winnipeg as the ship headed home to Esquimalt from off the coast of California.

Earle was last seen on December 14th at 5 a.m. PST, and a search began after he failed to arrive for a meeting on board the ship at 12:30 p.m. PST.

A large joint search operation headed by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) in Alameda County, California, was undertaken in the area where he disappeared, 500 nautical miles (926 kilometres) west of San Francisco.

Navy officials say that an extensive search of an area of approximately 2,000 nautical miles was performed and included several military and search and rescue aircraft from multiple international agencies.

Earle was not found, and the search concluded at 5:37 p.m. PST on December 15th.

The CAF says that Earle’s next of kin have been notified, and are asking for privacy during this time.

HMCS Winnipeg will continue to Esquimalt, ending a four-month deployment to Operations PROJECTION and NEON. Details on their arrival will be released by the CAF at a later time.

“This is an unimaginably difficult time for the family and the crew,” said Commodore Angus Topshee, Commander Canadian Fleet Pacific.

“With the conclusion of the active search, we are focused on supporting Master Sailor Earle’s family and friends while also working to bring HMCS Winnipeg the rest of the way home after a long and very demanding deployment.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered his condolences to Earle’s family as well, while also acknowledging earlier tragedies the CAF has suffered in 2020.

“In the last year alone, we have lost nine members of the Canadian Armed Forces to tragic events – all brave Canadians who put their lives at risk for the security and safety of our country,” the Prime Minister said in a statement.

“We owe so much to those who serve, and in these times of difficulty and sadness, we will lean on one another and never forget those who were lost.”

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