ALBERTON, P.E.I. -- The military says it has suspended its search for two teenage boys who went missing when their small boat capsized Wednesday night off of the coast of Prince Edward Island.

The Maritime Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Halifax says based on the results of a search of over 20 hours and environmental factors, the search for the two 17-year-olds has been suspended.

The military says its sincere condolences go out to the families, friends, and community of the two teens.

A military spokesman says the ships and aircraft involved in the search are returning to their bases.

It says it has turned the case over to the RCMP as a missing persons investigation.

Local residents in western Prince Edward Island had joined the search for two teenaged boys who went missing when their small boat capsized off the province's coast Wednesday night.

Northport, P.E.I., Mayor Wendy McNeill said residents from the West Prince area used everything from fishing boats to kayaks to help look for the two teens.

"Anybody that can get on the water for any reason whatsoever, they're out there," McNeill said in an interview earlier Thursday. "It's just unbelievable to see the amount of people out there searching."

The joint rescue co-ordination centre said another young man was on the boat and made it back to shore Wednesday night, placing a 911 call at 9:28 p.m.

Lt.-Cmdr. Brian Owens of the rescue centre says a Cormorant helicopter was immediately dispatched to the scene off Fox Island, near Alberton, P.E.I., and it was joined by several coast guard vessels and a C-130 Hercules aircraft.

The Northpoint Community Centre was set up earlier with food and drink for people searching on the water and the shore. McNeill said residents brought in supplies for volunteers and made cash donations to be used as needed.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 17, 2020.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.