Coast Guard, local agencies searching for possible person in the water

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Coast Guard and crews from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office are searching for a possible person in the water Saturday, in the vicinity of the Mathews Bridge, near downtown Jacksonville, Fla.

Watchstanders in the Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville command center were notified of the situation at approximately 6 a.m., Saturday by JSO. The report from JSO stated that Vernon Stephens, a 39-year-old African American man, was doing a minor repair on his vehicle when it was struck from behind by another car at approximately 11 p.m., Friday. The report also stated that Stephens was believed to have been knocked off the bridge as a result of the impact. He was reported as last seen wearing a pink T-shirt and brown pants.

Two JSO Marine units conducted searches around the bridge along with a JSO helicopter crew.

Coast Guard crews involved in the search include a boat crew from Coast Guard Station Mayport and a helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Savannah, Ga. The Station Mayport crew arrived on scene at 7:04 a.m., Saturday. The helicopter crew arrived on scene at 8:30 a.m. Both Coast Guard crews are searching a one square mile area from the Mathews Bridge to Trout River.

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