Coast Guard searches for kayaker off Galveston

D8 LogoHOUSTON — The Coast Guard is searching for a 23-year-old man wearing a full blue rain suit and holding onto a dark green 16-foot kayak with an 8-foot blue kayak drifting nearby after overturning Saturday morning near South Deer Island.

Missing is Alex Gallant.

At approximately 3 p.m., the Galveston Police Department notified Coast Guard Station Galveston watchstanders that a good samaritan vessel had picked up 21-year-old Brandon Curacas. He was holding onto a piling in the water near 8 mile road in Galveston.

Curacas reported that while kayaking this morning, his friend Alex Gallant tipped over into the 53 degree water and began to panic. In an attempt to get to safety, he accidentally tipped Curacas’ boat, at which point both men began drifting and holding onto their overturned boats. Curacas reported that he managed to grab onto a piling, but Gallant continued to drift and was last seen at approximately 10:30 a.m.

The Coast Guard watchstanders launched a Station Galveston 29-foot rescue boat crew and a Coast Guard Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, which were on scene by 4 p.m. The boatcrew has suspended search due to shallow water and local police suspended their search at sunset. However the MH-65 Dolphin planned to continue to run search patterns throughout the night.

Curacas was picked up by the good samaritan at approximately 1 p.m. and was taken to a nearby pier where EMS treated him for mild hypothermia and released him in good condition.

If anyone has any additional information that may assist the search effort, please contact the Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston Command Center at 281-464-4854 or on the radio at VHF Marine Channel 16.

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