Search suspended for Brown student reported missing - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Search suspended for Brown student reported missing

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Dana Dourdeville Dana Dourdeville
Dana Dourdeville Dana Dourdeville

Search efforts were suspended Thursday for a 21-year-old Brown University student whose kayak was found a few miles off the Massachusetts coast.

Dana Dourdeville of Marion, Mass., was reported missing after he failed to return home from a duck hunting trip on Tuesday afternoon.

Fairhaven police said the search was conducted by the Massachusetts Environmental Police offshore of West Island. It was called off about 1:30 p.m. as weather conditions deteriorated.

Fairhaven police said they will continue their investigation into the young man's disappearance.

Dourdeville is a student at Brown University, enrolling at Brown after graduating as valedictorian of his class at Old Rochester Regional, according to some friends.

"He's extraordinary I would say. He kind of did his own thing but excelled at everything he tried, "said friend Hannah O'Day.

The pristine beaches of West Island in Fairhaven are not familiar to Dourdeville. Police told NBC 10 that he and his mother came here earlier in the week bird-watching and that he remarked it would be a good place to go duck hunting.

Police said they didn't think Dourdeville had ever been hunting in the area before.

"This may be his first time hunting in this area," said Sgt. Kevin Kobza of the Fairhaven Police Department.

Dourdeville returned Tuesday from his family's Marion home at about 2 p.m. with a kayak. When he hadn't returned to Marion by dark, his mother went to West Island and found his car in the parking lot.

By 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, she reported him missing, and his floating kayak was found by the Coast Guard three miles off the island at 11 p.m. It was dry, as was the single glove found inside.

A task force assembled and at sunrise Wednesday began picking over the acres of conservation land. The searchers concentrated on the beaches in the morning, but by afternoon had moved into the marsh and woods.

A local said  Dourdeville's choice to put in at the town beach was questionable.

"I think it's a very dangerous situation. That town beach has a dangerous current and unless you really know how to paddle, it'll take you right out to sea," said West Island resident Hoppy Hobson.

But Dourdeville's friends, who ran track with him in school, are holding out hope.

"If anyone's capable of surviving it's him we have a good feeling he's out there and we're confident he can survive out there. We're just trying to help him right now," said Hobson.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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