Coast Guard searching for overdue kite-surfer near Cape Lookout, N.C.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The Coast Guard is searching this evening for a kite-surfer who failed to return from a trip near Cape Lookout, N.C.

Missing is Frank Mueller, 31, who is approximately 6 feet tall and is wearing a black wetsuit. His board and sail are orange and black.

Mueller and a friend departed Harker Island, N.C. at about 3:30 p.m. Friday to kite-surf toward Cape Lookout. They became separated, and Mueller’s friend reported him missing after he failed to return after 5:30 p.m. A 25-foot rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Fort Macon, N.C., and an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., launched in response. Both assets continue to search the area.

Currently the winds on scene are approximately 22 miles per hour and waves are approximately 2 feet high. Visibility is currently 8 miles but is beginning to deteriorate as Tropical Storm Hanna approaches.

The Coast Guard strongly discourages boaters and swimmers from taking to the water as Hanna nears the Carolina and Virginia coasts. Environmental conditions can change suddenly, and dangerous riptides and heavy seas precede the storm’s arrival.

For further information on Tropical Storm Hanna, visit the Coast Guard’s public information Web site at http://www.hanna.uscgstormwatch.com.

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