Coast Guard Searching for Missing Kayaker Near Gadsden Point in Tampa

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Marlin patrols the Gulf of Mexico June 13, 2010, in support of the Deepwater Horizon/BP Oil Spill Response. The crew of the 87-foot Marlin, homeported in Fort Myers Beach, Fla., set out on their two-week patrol to provide logistical support for the oil spill response. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nick Ameen.
USCG File Photo

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Coast Guard is searching for a missing kayaker approximately one mile south of Gadsden Point, in Tampa, Fla., Saturday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg recived a call at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday from a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office marine unit reporting that they had found Wes Powell, 31, on a kayak tied to a buoy south of Gadsden Point at about 2:50 p.m., and that his friend Jerry D. Knight, 22, was missing.

Powell reported that he had been unable to continue back to MacDill Air Force Base, where they had departed, and that Knight had gone to find help but had not returned.

The Coast Guard immediately launched a MH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter and crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., a Coast Guard Station St. Petersburg 25-foot response boat crew and the crew of the 85-foot Coast Guard Cutter Marlin to search for Knight.

His kayak is described as a 12-14 foot grey kayak.

Members from Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are assisting in the search.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg Command Center at 727-824-7506.

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