A Coast Guard crew heads into the Eastern Channel on Monday (1-6-20) afternoon (KCAW/Rose)

The Coast Guard suspended its search Monday for a Sitka man whose empty kayak was discovered overturned the day before in Sitka’s Eastern Channel. 

Kale Pastel was reported missing Sunday less than six hours after he’d left the UAS-Sitka campus for a pre-dawn four-mile trip to Birdsnest Bay, near Camp Coogan Bay. 

Searchers spent two days scouring more than 111 square miles looking for the 36-year-old paddler. The Coast Guard says Pastel’s overturned kayak was discovered by a Good Samaritan vessel that towed it to Cannon Island, about two miles from his starting point.

The 45-hour air and water search was aided by Sitka Mountain Rescue and U.S. Forest Service rangers.