Coast Guard suspends search for missing kayaker

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. –The Coast Guard has suspended the search for the missing kayaker in San Carlos Bay, Florida, Sunday.

The search for Andrew Barber, 32, of Fort Meyers, was suspended at 6:30 p.m. Sunday following a two-day search in San Carlos Bay and surrounding waters.

At approximately 11 p.m., Friday, watchstanders from Coast Guard Station Fort Myers Beach, Florida, received a 911 transfer call from the Lee County Sherriff’s Office from Kyle Woolwine stating his friend, Andrew Barber, was missing after their kayak overturned. Woolwine stated he swam to shore, but did not know where Barber was.

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Andrew,” said Captain Gregory Case, commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg. “We have made the difficult decision to suspend the search for Andrew. Our Coast Guard crews searched diligently along side numerous agencies for two days, and despite our best efforts we were unable to rescue him.”

Coast Guard rescue crews involved in the search covered more than 1,946 square nautical miles during 31 search patterns.

Search and rescue crews included personnel from:

*       Coast Guard Station Fort Myers Beach
*       Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Florida
*       Coast Guard Air Station Miami
*       Coast Guard Cutter Marlin
*       Coast Guard Auxiliary
*       Lee County Sheriff’s Office Air and Marine
*       Sanibel, Florida, Police Department
*       Cape Coral, Florida, Fire and Rescue
*       Cape Coral Marine
*       Iona Fire and Rescue
*       Pine Island Fire and Rescue
*       Bonita Fire and Rescue
*       Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation

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