Kayaker Found Dead on Penzance Point

On New Year’s Eve at 7:45 PM, the Coast Guard received a call of a missing duck hunter, a 21-year-old student at Brown University. On Sunday, nearly two weeks later, volunteer responders comprising family and friends of the victim found the man’s body on the Buzzards Bay side of Penzance Point in Woods Hole.

Falmouth Police Department and the Falmouth Fire Rescue Department received calls from the Massachusetts Environmental Police at approximately 2:30 PM Sunday informing them that the body of Dana Dourdeville of Marion had been found.

When Mr. Dourdeville failed to return home on December 31, his mother searched and found his vehicle parked in the lot of the West Island town beach in Fairhaven just before 7 PM. She contacted Fairhaven police, who began a search at approximately 7 PM.

On New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day morning, responders searched the east side of West Island, the Little Bay area as well as the surrounding conservation land in Mattapoisett, on the opposite side of Buzzards Bay from Penzance Point.

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The Coast Guard located Mr. Dourdeville’s kayak just before 11 PM off the east shore of West Island, floating approximately three miles offshore between West Island and Falmouth. Inside the vessel was a single dry glove and, according to Fairhaven police, it did not appear as though the kayak had flipped at any point.

Searchers used aircraft, boats and all-terrain vehicles in addition to land searches on foot. The Coast Guard searched with a helicopter and three boats, covering over 300 square miles, according to a Coast Guard spokesman. The Coast Guard’s search lasted 17 hours until approximately 1 PM on Wednesday.

Fairhaven police said a boat crew used an underwater camera towed on a tether providing a live video feed.

Police suspended the search Wednesday at 4 PM for the night. A limited search resumed in the morning, although that was later suspended due to the winter storm on Thursday, January 2, and the following morning.

Sergeant Kevin W. Kobza of the Fairhaven Police Department said a civilian search party combed the surrounding area, encompassing beaches around Buzzards Bay including Naushon Island, before finding Mr. Dourdeville’s body yesterday.

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