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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, February 22, 2010

Search for Canadian man missing in ocean suspended

Advertiser Staff

The search for a Canadian man missing off Kaanapali, Maui since Thursday has been called off.

The Coast Guard suspended the search for Bryce Essler, 20, about 6 p.m. Saturday and notified his family.

Search and rescue teams covered an estimated 2,714 square miles since Essler was reported missing. He was last seen about 100 yards from the beach.

The search took place over a triangular area covering nearly all the waters between Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

"It's heart-breaking when anyone is lost at sea," said Coast Guard Capt. Barry Compagnoni, who talked with Essler's family earlier yesterday and after deciding to suspend the search. "Our hearts and prayers go out to the family because suspending a search is probably the most difficult thing we do in the Coast Guard. But, in this case, we simply have no place else to look."

Maui Fire Department crews joined the Coast Guard in the search, with Coast Guard assets from Honolulu, Barbers Point and Maui taking part.