Coast Guard suspends search for missing kayaker in Galveston Bay

kayaker300HOUSTON — The Coast Guard suspended the search for the missing kayaker in Galveston Bay Monday, after exhausting search efforts through the weekend with partner agencies and other assistance.

The search for 23-year-old Alex Gallant was suspended at 4:45 p.m., following three days of searching from Offatts Bayou to San Luis Pass.

“Working in conjunction with local partners, we exhausted all efforts in hopes of finding Mr. Gallant,” said Lt. Cmdr. David Vicks, the search and rescue mission coordinator running the case. “Cases such as this are particularly challenging this time of year, when weather conditions are frequently changing and often deceptive. We encourage all boaters to wear life jackets at all times, pay close attention to the weather and ensure family or friends are aware of their plans.”

At approximately 3 p.m. Saturday, the Galveston Police Department notified Coast Guard Station Galveston watchstanders that a good samaritan vessel had picked up 21-year-old Brandon Curacas. He was holding onto a piling in the water near North Deer Island.

Curacas reported that while kayaking Saturday morning, his friend Alex Gallant tipped over into the 53 degree water and began to panic. In an attempt to get to safety, he accidentally tipped Curacas’ boat, at which point both men began drifting and holding onto their overturned boats. Curacas reported that he managed to grab onto a piling, but Gallant continued to drift and was last seen at approximately 10:30 a.m.

Coast Guard crews searched with surface and air assets along with the Galveston Police Department, Jamaica Beach Fire Department and sent urgent marine information broadcasts to notify mariners of the situation.

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