The search for a surfer missing since May 8 has been called off, Sooke RCMP confirmed Wednesday.

Jonah Mayhue, 29, was last seen entering the water on Pacheedaht Beach in Port Renfrew, wearing light-coloured board shorts and carrying a surfboard. He was watching two grey whales rubbing on the rocks at the river's entrance before his disappearance.

An hour later Jonah's surfboard was found on Pacheedaht Beach, but there was no sign of him.

Mayhue's family issued a statement today expressing their gratitude to the community that helped them search for five days.

"The huge effort put forth by the search and rescue teams, Parks Canada, the RCMP, family, friends, and citizens of Pacheedaht and Port Renfrew provides us with much needed solace," his family said in the statement.

"We deeply thank everyone involved in the search for their unrelenting dedication to finding our Jonah."

They concluded the statement, saying they "look forward to sharing everyone's memories" of Mayhue.

The family plans to continue the search for Jonah but asks for privacy at this time. They ask anyone with information to contact Sooke RCMP.