Search called off for kayaker missing near Strait of Belle Isle after 'exhaustive' effort

Search called off for kayaker missing near Strait of Belle Isle after 'exhaustive' effort

The search has been called off for a kayaker who was reported missing in the Strait of Belle Isle last week.

"This was a huge effort and it's very unfortunate that it ended the way it did," says Mark Gould, regional supervisor with the Maritime Search and Rescue Sub-Centre in St. John's.

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends."

On Wednesday last week, the rescue centre received a report of a missing kayaker.

A massive land, air and sea search was launched, but to no avail, and the search has been called off.

"We take these very seriously, carried out an exhaustive search to look for him," said Gould.

"We searched a number of days and nights in a very large area, we used every resource and piece of equipment we had available to us, but we've doubled the expected survivability from our models and decided to end search operations."

The Quebec man, in his 20s, was last seen in Blanc-Sablon, Que., wearing a red dry suit and a yellow life-jacket Aug. 11. 

A kayak matching the description of the one the man owned was found on a beach near Forteau in Labrador.

Gould said there were some challenging weather conditions, with some fog early on and choppy water on some days, but despite the glut of equipment deployed, they were unable to find him.

The family of the kayaker was in regular and constant contact with searchers, Gould said, and have been notified. The case has now been turned over to Sûreté du Québec, Gould said, as a missing person file.

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With files from Ryan Brockerville