Master sailor missing from HMCS Winnipeg, military says

The Canadian military says a search is underway in waters west of San Francisco for a master sailor who’s gone missing.

Duane Earle is believed to have accidentally fallen overboard HMCS Winnipeg early Monday, National Defence said in a statement released Tuesday.

“MS Earle was not identified as missing until later in the day, at which point HMCS Winnipeg turned back along its route and commenced a search, along with its embarked CH-148 Cyclone helicopter,” the statement said.

The ship was returning to Esquimalt, B.C., after being deployed to the Asia-Pacific region.

The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in California, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the United States Coast Guard are helping in the search.

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

“Our thoughts are with the family, friends and loved ones of our missing shipmate, Master Sailor Duane Earl,” Vice-Admiral Art McDonald, commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, said in a statement. “With this happening so close to the end of this deployment and with the holiday season looming, it’s simply devastating and is felt across our extended naval family.”

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