The search for Master Sailor Duane Earle, from Winnipeg, has concluded. The Boatswain, described as a ‘sailor’s sailor’ was not found. (Courtesy Canadian Armed Forces)

The search for Master Sailor Duane Earle, from Winnipeg, has concluded. The Boatswain, described as a ‘sailor’s sailor’ was not found. (Courtesy Canadian Armed Forces)

Search called off for sailor who possibly fell overboard from navy ship en route to Esquimalt

Canadian Armed Forces’ search for Boatswain Duane Earle concluded Tuesday evening

The search for a sailor missing from a Canadian navy ship has been called off, and the vessel and crew are headed back to Esquimalt.

Master Sailor Duane Earle, 47, from Winnipeg, is believed to have fallen overboard Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Winnipeg in the early hours of Dec. 14 when the ship was 500 nautical miles west of San Francisco and on route to CFB Esquimalt.

Upon realizing that Earle was missing, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) vessel turned around and began a search with assistance from a Cyclone helicopter, rescue centres in California and assets from the United States Coast Guard. The Royal Canadian Air Force also assisted and in total, the search spanned roughly 2,000 nautical miles from both air and sea.

But around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday the search was concluded, with CAF reporting that Earle had not been found. CAF says his next of kin has been notified and is being offered support.

READ ALSO: Search continues for ‘sailor’s sailor’ presumed overboard from navy vessel returning to Esquimalt

“This decision was not taken lightly, however after extensive coverage of the search area we have not been able to locate him,” said a statement from Rear-Admiral Brian Santarpia, maritime component commander. “I would also like to thank our allies who were involved in the search for Master Sailor Earle.”

The HMCS Winnipeg, which has about 230 trained officers aboard, was returning to Esquimalt from a two-month deployment to the Asia-Pacific region for Operation PROJECTION and NEON, training and international engagement deployments.

Earle joined CAF in 1990 as a member of the naval reserve at HMCS Chippawa. He served various deployments in the years since and spent nearly 2,000 days at sea.

The ship’s commanding officer, Commander Mike Stefanson said it has been an extremely difficult couple of days for the ship’s company.

“We have completed a challenging deployment, in very uncertain times both at home and overseas, and we will continue to stand together through this incredibly sad time,” he said in a statement. “I would like to offer my sympathies to the family and friends of Master Sailor Earle. He will be sorely missed.”

CAF says it will conduct an investigation into the circumstances around Earle’s disappearance and more details will be released in the coming weeks.

READ ALSO: Families, spectators wave goodbye to Navy Task Force from Victoria shorelines


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: nina.grossman@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CFB EsquimaltVictoria

Just Posted

Team Canada celebrates after qualifying for the Olympics at the Softball Americas Olympic Qualifier tournament, which was held at Softball City in 2019. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press photo)
Surrey, White Rock players make cut as Softball Canada announces Olympic roster

Sara Groenewegen, Danielle Lawrie among players on 15-person roster

Fraser Health is warning of a possible COVID-19 exposure after a dance competition at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel on May 7, 2021. (Photo: Google Maps)
Fraser Health warns of possible COVID exposure at Surrey dance competition

Another possible exposure at Abbotsford dance competition

Surrey RCMP detachment. (Contributed file photo)
RCMP investigating report of shots fired in South Surrey

Police say they have not yet found evidence to confirm incident

Surrey RCMP say Reshmi Kaur Mani was last seen at 9 p.m. on May 9. (Contributed/file photos)
Surrey RCMP ask for help locating high-risk missing woman

Police say Reshmi Kaur Mani hasn’t been since since May 9

Bucketheads – A Star Wars Story is being filmed near the 19000-block of 16 Avenue in South Surrey. (Mychaylo Prystupa photos)
Star Wars fan film ‘Bucketheads,’ shot in South Surrey, makes its debut

Volunteer initiative features new LED screen technology

Marc Kielburger, screen left, and Craig Kielburger, screen right, appear as witnesses via video conference during a House of Commons finance committee in the Wellington Building in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. The committee is looking into Government Spending, WE Charity and the Canada Student Service Grant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
BREAKING: Trudeau didn’t violate conflict rules over WE Charity

Federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion found that former finance minister Bill Morneau did violate the rules

An Israeli attack helicopter launches flares as he flies over the Israeli Gaza border, southern Israel, Thursday, May 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Singh calls for halt on Canadian arms sales to Israel as violence escalates in region

Government data shows Canada sent $13.7 million in military goods and technology to Israel in 2019

New homes are built in a housing construction development in the west-end of Ottawa on Thursday, May 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Budget’s foreign-homebuyers tax could bring in $509 million over 4 years, PBO says

Liberals are proposing a one per cent tax on vacant homes owned by foreign non-residents

A Canadian flag patch is shown on a soldier’s shoulder in Trenton, Ont., on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. The Canadian Forces says it has charged one of its members in the death of an army reservist from British Columbia during a training exercise at a military base in Alberta last year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg
Canadian Forces member charged in death of army reservist during training exercise

Cpl. Lars Callsen has been charged with one count of negligence

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks during a press conference in the rotunda at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday May 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. to use remaining AstraZeneca vaccine for 2nd doses

Health officials say the change is due to the limited availability of the vaccine

A youth plays basketball in an otherwise quiet court in Toronto on Saturday April 17, 2021. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is urging the federal and provincial governments to fight COVID-19 pandemic by focusing on proven public health policy interventions including paid sick leave, and education rather than punitive enforcement measures. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Provinces issued more COVID-19 tickets during 2nd wave: CCLA report

‘A pandemic is a public health, not a public order, crisis,’ reads the report

Capt. Arpit Mahajan of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds - Snowbirds 2 - shows off his ‘Jenn Book’ dedicated to Capt. Jennifer Casey. Zoom screenshot
Homecoming for B.C.-raised Snowbirds pilot training in the province

Capt. Arpit Mahajan flies Snowbird 2 in his first year as a solo pilot with the team

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Most Read