ACADIA NATIONAL PARK – A rock climber from the Bangor area, Emil Lin, is missing and feared dead Sunday after retrieving a climbing shoe from the ocean off Otter Cliffs and then being washed by a wave into the pounding surf, park officials said.
A search for the missing climber was called off Sunday evening after the sun went down. It was expected to resume this morning, Acadia National Park Ranger Neal Labrie said Sunday.
The identities of the missing climber and his climbing partner, who also is from the Bangor area, are being withheld pending the results of the search and notification of their relatives, Labrie said. The second climber was unharmed during the incident.
Both men are in their 20s, according to the ranger. One is a student at the University of Maine in Orono, and the other attends Northeastern University in Boston, he said.
“They were just trying out new climbing gear,” Labrie said.
According to Ranger Richard Rechholtz, the two were rock climbing at Otter Cliffs around 1:30 p.m. Sunday when one of them unclipped himself from a climbing rope and, from the bottom of the cliff, jumped into the frigid ocean water to retrieve a climbing shoe.
“He swam out, retrieved his shoe and came back to shore,” Rechholtz said. “He made it back to an outcropping below Otter Cliffs. A wave came and washed him back in, and he disappeared under the water.”
After officials were notified of the incident, park staff started a search for the missing climber.
Three Coast Guard vessels, personnel with the Bar Harbor harbor master’s office and two sightseeing boats motored back and forth offshore looking for signs of the man. A jet and a helicopter, both sent by the Coast Guard, participated in the search
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