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Vigil To Be Held For East Rockaway Native Who Vanished On El Faro Cargo Ship In Bahamas

EAST ROCKAWAY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A candlelight vigil will be held Thursday night in Nassau County for a man missing at sea.

Friends and family of Howard Schoenly will gather in East Rockaway on what would have been his 51st birthday. He is among 33 people missing from a U.S. cargo ship that sank last week near the Bahamas during Hurricane Joaquin.

Schoenly, who had been living in Florida, is an East Rockaway High School graduate.

His wife of 20 years issued a statement this week saying, "He took great pride in being a merchant marine and his work as second engineer. He was the most vibrant, colorful person; so full of life. To imagine such a life gone is unbearable."

The vigil begins at 7:30 p.m. on the Main Street waterfront.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Coast Guard has ended the intense search for the crew of El Faro.

The ship is believed to have gone down in 15,000 feet of water after reporting its last known position last Thursday.

The search was called off at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The families of the missing crew members hugged each other after the Coast Guard told them the news, CBS2 reported.

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