It’s sad news in the case of missing Massachusetts Marvel Comics artist Norman Lee, who vanished while snorkelling with his wife in the Cayman Islands.

Officials have called off the search and are now in recovery mission mode.

“We put all assets available to us, both law enforcement and privately owned. We thank all those who assisted us in this time of need. Unfortunately we were unable to find or recover Mr. Lee.” Police Chief Inspector Brad Ebanks told

Lee, 47, of Weymouth, Mass., vanished last Thursday off Grand Cayman, officials said. He and his wife were snorkeling and became separated. She returned to shore and filed a missing persons report.

Currents in the area where the two were snorkeling were described as strong.

Lee has been a longtime DC and Marvel comics inker.

His Facebook page was filled with messages of grief.

"I cannot express how shaken I am that I will never get the chance to see that smile again, and it saddens me that this world has lost a wonderful man in Norman Lee. To his wife Jan, and his family and all his friends and fans that loved him, my sincerest condolences," graphic artist Chris Kinniery posted.