Nicholas Howard Buttle

Buttle, circa 2001

  • Missing Since 12/07/2001
  • Missing From Los Angeles County, California
  • Classification Lost/Injured Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 04/05/1946 (73)
  • Age 55 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'9, 160 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A t-shirt or a blue tank top, black shorts and no life vest.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Brown hair, hazel eyes. Buttle may have a mustache. He has a tattoo of two greyhounds on his right shoulder.

Details of Disappearance

Buttle and his friend, Eric Alan Hammer, departed from Corral State Beach in Los Angeles County, California on December 7, 2001. They paddled a two-person kayak out to a yacht that they anchored 600 yards offshore to perform work on the boat.

The National Weather Service issued several advisories regarding strong winds that approached the area during the day. Buttle and Hammer encountered intensifying conditions at sea while returning to shore. Buttle was knocked out of the kayak near Dan Blocker County Beach shortly thereafter. He has never been heard from again.

Authorities rescued Hammer later that evening. He was located approximately three miles off of the coast. The men's kayak and their two paddles were also recovered at the scene. Hammer was treated for hypothermia at a local hospital. He said he and Buttle had gotten separated about half an hour before he himself was rescued.

Authorities continued searching for Buttle by air and sea until December 8. He is presumed drowned, but his remains have never been located. Buttle continues to be classified as a missing person.

Buttle was a resident of Malibu, California in 2001.

Investigating Agency

  • Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department 323-890-5500

Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated March 29, 2012; distinguishing characteristics, clothing/jewelry description and details of disappearance updated.