Coast Guard identifies missing canoer, search continues

The U.S. Coast Guard is continuing to search for a canoer who went missing near Treasure Island on Wednesday evening.

Michael Butler, 52, was in a canoe with two friends near Treasure Island, where he lives, when the boat overturned, according to the Coast Guard.

Butler’s friends swam to shore and headed home, but Butler stayed behind and climbed back into the canoe, Coast Guard officials said.

His friends returned to the shoreline and called the Coast Guard when they could not find Butler at about 6:15 p.m.

It is unclear why Butler stayed behind and did not go back to shore with his friends, Coast Guard Petty Officer Caleb Critchfield said.

The Coast Guard dispatched a helicopter and two boats, and Sausalito and San Francisco fire and police boats were called in to assist with the search.

The helicopter search was later suspended because of low visibility, but the helicopter was dispatched back to the area at first light today, Critchfield said.

Shoreline searches are being conducted by police in San Francisco, Sausalito, Tiburon and Berkeley.

The Coast Guard asks anyone who sees the missing canoer to call (415) 399-3451 or 911.

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