Multiple Coast Guard units searching for missing kayaker in Gulf of Mexico

America's Heartland Coast Guard NewsNEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard is searching for a missing kayaker in the Gulf of Mexico near Grand Isle, Wednesday.

Missing is Eric Richards, 32.

At approximately 9:30 p.m., Tuesday, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report that Richards was overdue on a kayak fishing trip. Richards had set out on his fishing trip Monday morning. When Richards did not show up for work Tuesday, a coworker went to the Bridgeside Boat Launch in Grand Isle, where he found Richards’ vehicle still at the launch.

“The Coast Guard is conducting an all-out search effort to locate the missing kayaker today,” said Cmdr. Russ Bowen, the search and rescue mission coordinator. “We are requesting anyone with information about this case to call us immediately.”

The Coast Guard is searching a 642 square-mile area with the following assets:

Two MH-65C Dolphin helicopters and crews from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans

An HC-144A Ocean Sentry aircraft and crew from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile, Ala.

An HC-130 Hercules aircraft and crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla.

A 45-foot Response Boat — Medium and crew from Coast Guard Station Grand Isle

A 24-foot Special Purpose Craft — Shallow Water and crew from Station Grand Isle

The Coast Guard Cutter Sturgeon and crew

The Coast Guard is asking anyone with any information to call the Sector New Orleans Command Center at 504-365-2200.

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