Coast Guard suspends search for missing kayaker near Vero Beach

MIAMI — The Coast Guard has suspended the search, Saturday, for a 42-year-old male kayaker who went missing Tuesday near Vero Beach, Florida.

Missing is Donald Waters from Vero Beach.

A backpack containing personal items of Waters was located by a good Samaritan, Saturday, at approximately 12:18 p.m., 12 miles east of Vero Beach.

The Coast Guard and mission partners searched more than 7,100 square nautical miles for approximately 114 hours.

On Tuesday, Vero Beach Police Department, notified Coast Guard Sector Miami watchstanders at approximately 9:40 a.m., that Waters went missing while kayaking.

A Station Fort Pierce rescue crew and an Air Station Miami helicopter crew launched and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Flying Fish to assist in the search. Vero Beach Police Department conducted shore side patrols and launched marine and air crews. Searching continued for more than four days by multiple agencies both on and above the surface of the water.

“The decision to suspend a case is never an easy one,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Jason Reynolds, a command duty officer for Sector Miami Command Center. “Our greatest sympathies go out to the Waters family during this time.”

Coast Guard assets involved in the search:

  • MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Air Station Miami
  • MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew from Air Station Clearwater
  • C-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Clearwater
  • A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Station Fort Pierce
  • Coast Guard Cutter Webber
  • Coast Guard Cutter Flying Fish
  • Coast Guard Cutter Ibis
  • Coast Guard Cutter Skipjack
  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were also involved in the search.

If you have any information, please call Coast Guard Sector Miami Command Center at 305-535-4472.

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