Coast Guard suspends search for overdue kayaker

A 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Humboldt Bay (U.S. Coast Guard file photo by Cmdr. Brendan Hilleary/released)

A 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Humboldt Bay (U.S. Coast Guard file photo by Cmdr. Brendan Hilleary)

MCKINLEYVILLE, Calif. – The Coast Guard and Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office suspended their search Saturday for an overdue kayaker who went missing Friday near the Luffenholtz Beach area.

The search for Nicolas Brunner, age 19 of McKinleyville, was suspended after Coast Guard boat and aircrews, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, and California State Parks, conducted extensive searches of Trinidad Bay covering a total area of 490-square miles and approximately 20 hours.

The following assets were involved with in the search:

Coast Guard Cutter Barracuda
Two Coast Guard Station Humboldt Bay 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crews
Two Coast Guard Air Station Humboldt Bay MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews
A jet boat and ground search crews from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office
Rescue divers, lifeguards and a boat from California State Parks

“Suspending a search is not a decision we make lightly,” said Capt. Mark Hiigel, Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay commander. “It is only after we have over saturated every possible area that we even consider making this call. Our thoughts are with Brunner’s family during this time of hardship.”

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call at approximately 4:08 p.m., Friday, regarding an overdue kayaker, which coincided with an unmanned kayak found later at Luffenholtz Beach. The Coast Guard was notified shortly after to begin search efforts.

The Coast Guard can resume an active search if credible information is received regarding the missing person’s whereabouts.

Anyone with information about this case or Brunner’s whereabouts should contact the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay watchstanders at (707) 839-6113.

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