Coast Guard suspends search for missing kayaker

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — The Coast Guard suspended its search efforts for a missing kayaker off the coast of Mayport, Tuesday evening.

The Coast Guard searched more than 4,435 square miles for Garth Sangree.

“Despite the exemplary efforts of our local, state and federal partners, we are unfortunately unable to bring Garth home,” said Capt. Thomas Allan, commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville. “Recent weather has worked against us and with the colder temperatures, we’ve made the difficult decision to suspend our search efforts. Our hearts go out to the Sangree family during this challenging time.”

The following Coast Guard assets assisted in the search:

  • HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane from Coast Guard Air Station Miami
  • 45-foot Response Boat — Medium from Coast Guard Station Mayport
  • 87-foot Coast Guard cutters Diamondback and Kingfisher, both homeported at Mayport
  • HC-130 Hercules airplanes from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater
  • MH-65 Dolphin helicopters from Coast Guard Air Station Savannah, Georgia

Local agencies involved in the search included members of the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, Jacksonville Beach Police Department, Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine, Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, and Naval Station Mayport.

Before on the water, the Coast Guard urges them to leave a float plan with a family member or friend who is staying on shore. A float plan consists of information about their trip that would help rescuers in case of emergency, such as how many people are aboard, where they are leaving from and returning to, how long they will be out and a description of their boat. The Coast Guard also encourages boaters to wear life jackets and to have personal position indicating radio beacons, and other emergency equipment which can make the difference in rescue and response time in the event of an emergency.

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