Coast Guard suspends search for missing kayaker

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter

Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter file photo

WILMINGTON, N.C. — The Coast Guard has suspended the search Monday for a man who left Manns Harbor on a kayak fishing trip Saturday evening.

Missing is Alexander Rush, 26. He was last heard from at approximately 10 p.m. Saturday night. An overturned kayak of the same make, model and color was found in the vicinity of Roanoke Island Monday morning and confirmed as his by a member of his family.

“This time of year is especially dangerous for mariners in North Carolina due to colder water temperatures,” said Captain Matt Baer, Commander, Coast Guard Sector North Carolina. “Based on a variety of factors, we’ve come to the tough decision to suspend the search for Mr. Rush. We offer our deepest condolences to his family and friends during this incredibly difficult time.”

The Coast Guard, along with local agencies, began searching for the mariner Sunday evening after watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Carolina Command Center received a notification from Dare County emergency dispatcher. This notification came at approximately 10:30 p.m. on Sunday after the missing man’s wife made a 911 report.

“The approximate water temperature right now is 60 degrees Fahrenheit, which a person cannot survive long in,” said Baer. “I urge anyone heading out on the water during this time of year to know the environmental conditions, and make sure you have appropriate cold water gear and a personal flotation device.”

Coast Guard crews searched approximately 425 square miles with multiple assets from Air Station Elizabeth City and Station Oregon Inlet. Crews from North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries and the Manns Harbor Volunteer Fire Department also participated in the search.

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