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Coast Guard suspends search for missing kayaker near Olympia

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Deputies searching by boat and on foot along the shore line where a capsized kayak was found. (Credit: Mason County Sheriff's Department)

OLYMPIA — The Coast Guard suspended its search at 2:19 p.m., for Andrew W. Aldrich, a kayaker who was reported missing early Wednesday morning in North Bay in the vicinity of Case Inlet near Allyn.

The Coast Guard searched 16 square miles for more than 12 hours covering 170 miles in efforts to locate Aldrich, 31, who was last seen in a yellow kayak wearing dark green Carhartt gear and no life jacket.

The Coast Guard was notified of the missing man by the Mason County Sheriff’s Office at 1:30 a.m., Wednesday. The Coast Guard began searching and continues to search with crews from Station Seattle, Air Station Port Angeles and the Cutter Adelie. Coast Guard crews located an empty yellow kayak with a paddle in North Bay at about 9 a.m.

“The Coast Guard shares sorrow with friends and family of Aldrich after conducting a very thorough search with three assets from three different units,” said Cmdr. Brian Meier, search mission coordinator, Sector Puget Sound. “We again remind all on-water or in-water participants to stay away from the extremely cold water or at the very least be prepared with emergency lifesaving gear so incidents like this one are avoided.”

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