On Dec 15, 2020, at 5:37 pm PST, the active search for Master Sailor Duane Earle, a boatswain aboard HMCS Winnipeg, has concluded. Sadly, he was not found. The ship’s crew now begins their journey home and our hearts remain with his loved ones.
The active search for Master Sailor Duane Earle, deployed in Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Winnipeg, has concluded at 5:37 pm Pacific Standard Time (8:37 pm Eastern Standard Time). Sadly, he has not been found.
Master Sailor Earle’s next of kin have been notified and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) are providing his family with the support needed to help them through this difficult time. His family is currently in their grieving process as a result of this tragic loss.
Therefore, they are asking the media to respect their privacy during this very difficult time.
Now that the search has concluded, HMCS Winnipeg will continue their transit home to Esquimalt, B.C. Details of their arrival will be communicated in the near future.
As mentioned previously, the CAF will conduct an investigation into the circumstances of how MS Earle went missing. More details on the investigation will be made available in the coming weeks.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce that we have concluded our active search for Master Sailor Earle. This decision was not taken lightly, however after extensive coverage of the search area we have not been able to locate him. I would also like to thank our allies who were involved in the search for Master Sailor Earle. They have been steadfast in their support to HMCS Winnipeg. Right now our focus remains on supporting his family, his friends and shipmates as they work through this very challenging time and I offer my deepest sympathies.” – Rear-Admiral Brian Santarpia, Maritime Component Commander
“This is an unimaginably difficult time for the family and the crew. With the conclusion of the active search, we are focused on supporting Master Sailor Earle’s family and friends while also working to bring HMCS Winnipeg the rest of the way home after a long and very demanding deployment. The entire Pacific Fleet, the whole of the Royal Canadian Navy and the CAF, stand beside them and will continue to support them in the coming days.”
Commodore Angus Topshee, Commander Canadian Fleet Pacific
“These have 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. I would like to offer my sympathies to the family and friends of Master Sailor Earle. He will be sorely missed.”
Commander Mike Stefanson, Commanding Officer HMCS Winnipeg
• On December 14, 2020, Master Sailor Earle, a 47-year old Boatswain, originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, was reported missing while the ship was approximately 500 nautical miles west of San Francisco, California, en route back to Esquimalt after being deployed to the Asia-Pacific region on Operations PROJECTION and NEON.
• An extensive search of an area approximately 2,000 nautical miles took place over the past 30 hours from both the air and sea. The search effort was coordinated by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) in Alameda County, California, and included the ship’s embarked Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CH-148 Cyclone helicopter; an RCAF CP-140 Aurora from 19 Wing, Comox, B.C.; a US Coast Guard C-27J search and rescue aircraft; a California Air National Guard C-130 Hercules aircraft; and HMCS Winnipeg.
• From September to December 2020, HMCS Winnipeg was deployed in the Asia-Pacific region on Operation PROJECTION Asia-Pacific and Operation NEON, to further strengthen Canada’s relations with partners in the area.
• During these operations, the CAF conduct training, exercises, and engagements with foreign navies and other international security partners.
• HMCS Winnipeg has approximately 230 highly trained and professional officers and sailors who were well-prepared to meet the challenges of their deployment on Operations PROJECTION and NEON. HMCS Winnipeg delivered robust capabilities working with our partner navies to strengthen international partnerships and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.