Search for man off N.S. coast turned over to RCMP as missing persons case

·2 min read

The search for a man in waters off southwest Nova Scotia was suspended Wednesday after rescuers spent more than 26 hours scouring the area with no sign of the missing 69-year-old.

The case is now being turned over to the RCMP as a missing persons case, according to a tweet from the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Halifax.

"Our thoughts and sincere condolences go out to the family, friends, and community," said the tweet posted early Wednesday evening.

On the second day of the search, JRCC crews discovered a canoe they believe the missing man and another person were travelling in.

Nova Scotia RCMP identified the missing man Wednesday as Kenneth Surette. They are not identifying his travelling companion, a woman in her 60s, who was found dead along the shoreline of Morris Island, N.S., on Tuesday afternoon.

RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Andrew Joyce said the pair was last seen paddling around Morris Island on Sunday around 11 a.m.

The search was launched after the woman's body was found. Crews searched in the area of Morris Island through the night, using flares and boat lights to illuminate the water and nearby shorelines.

Efforts continued Wednesday morning and the canoe was found just before 9 a.m., said Joyce.

"At this time, criminality is not suspected," he said.

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Lt.-Cmdr. Brian Owens with the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre told CBC News that crews covered every island in the vicinity overnight and were hopeful the missing man would be found in the daylight Wednesday.

"Hopefully he's made it ashore somewhere and took up camp overnight ... fingers are still crossed," Owens said earlier in the day.

Skies were clear and seas were calm when the search resumed Wednesday with the help of a Cormorant helicopter and a Hercules aircraft from 14 Wing Greenwood.

Owens said two coast guard vessels and several local civilian vessels also assisted with the search.