Article updated 1/3/14 at 1:25 pm.
Law enforcement officials suspended their search Thursday afternoon for an undergraduate who went missing Tuesday, as a winter storm descended on Massachusetts.
Dana Dourdeville ’15, an engineering concentrator, was last seen leaving his Marion, Mass., home alone Tuesday afternoon to go duck hunting in a kayak. When he failed to return home by sunset, his mother located his car in the town beach parking lot of West Island and reported him missing.
The Massachusetts Environmental Police, the Massachusetts State Police, the Coast Guard and the Fairhaven Police Department halted their search efforts at 12:30 p.m. Thursday “due to diminishing weather conditions,” wrote Amy Mahler, assistant press secretary for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, in an email to The Herald.
The winter storm dumped 10 inches of snow on Massachusetts Thursday night and Friday morning, according to the Weather Channel.
A Coast Guard helicopter found Dourdeville’s unoccupied kayak around 11 p.m. Tuesday floating about three miles offshore between West Island and Falmouth, the Cape Cod Times reported Wednesday. The kayak contained a single dry glove and did not appear to have flipped over, Coast Guard Command Duty Officer Michael Caianiello told the Cape Cod Times.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Coast Guard, the Massachusetts State Police, the Fairhaven Police Department and the South Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council Search and Rescue Team conducted an initial search for Dourdeville “by air, sea and shoreside,” Mahler wrote.
The initial search lasted 17 hours and covered 328 square nautical miles, WPRI reported. Family members and friends of Dourdeville have also been involved in the search efforts, NBC 10 reported Thursday.
“There’s only so much we can do,” Sergeant Kevin Kobza, public information officer for the Fairhaven Police Department, told Wicked Local Marion.
“Even if he were to drop in without injury, the survival rate in those waters is one hour,” Kobza added, noting the 37-degree water temperature.
“Our thoughts are with Dana and his family during this difficult time,” wrote Marisa Quinn, vice president for public affairs and university relations, in an email Wednesday to The Herald.
A vigil was scheduled for Thursday afternoon in Marion, Wicked Local Marion reported.