Coast Guard ends search for missing kayaker

BOSTON – The Coast Guard ended its search today for a 21-year-old man who went missing Tuesday after the kayak he and a friend were in overturned in Lake Champlain, Vt.

Federal, state and local agencies searched for Philip Patch in Missisquoi Bay by air, land and sea for nearly 20 hours, but did not find him.

“The decision to end a search is one of the most difficult we have to make,” said Cmdr. Robert Backhaus, chief of response at Sector Northern New England. “Our thoughts are with Mr. Patch’s family and friends.”

Thomas Lapine, who managed to put on a life jacket in the water after the kayak overturned, was rescued by a good Samaritan at 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, and notified the Coast Guard that Patch was still missing. Neither man was wearing a life jacket when the kayak overturned.

A boat crew from Coast Guard Station Burlington and a helicopter crew from Air Station Cape Cod, Mass., searched the area. A severe thunder storm with 60-knot winds, hail and lightning halted the search Tuesday evening and searchers resumed today at first light.

National Wildlife Fish and Game, State Police divers, Army National Guard, Hero Fire Department and Swanton Border Patrol remain on scene.

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