DARE COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) — Search and rescue crews have temporarily stopped a search for a kayaker who was reported missing Sunday after he didn’t return home from his fishing trip near the old Manns Harbor Bridge in Dare County.
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission said the kayaker has been identified as 26-year-old Alexander Rush of Kill Devil Hills.
All agencies suspended their searches for the day Monday around 4:30 p.m.
N.C. Wildlife and N.C. Marine Patrol will start the search again Tuesday morning. Gates County and Hertford County Emergency Management will bring their side scan sonar to help search underwater.
“This time of year is especially dangerous for mariners in North Carolina due to colder water temperatures,” said Captain Matt Baer, Commander, 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 kayaker went fishing on Saturday night at 7 p.m. near the bridge, and his wife reported him missing the next day after last contacting him at 10 p.m. Saturday. His vehicle was found parked at an access area beside the bridge.
N.C. Wildlife, the Dare County Sheriff Office and the U.S. Coast Guard began their search Sunday, and it resumed Monday morning with help from the North Carolina Marine Patrol.
Authorities say the man was in a yellow paddle kayak, which was recovered around 12:15 p.m. from the Croatan Sound about 9 miles southeast of the bridge. It was found overturned.
“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.”
Rush is described as 5 feet 11 inches tall and 220 pounds. He was wearing a burgundy hooded sweatshirt, a gray jacket, black sweatpants and gray Crocs. They say they don’t believe he had a lifejacket.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Coast Guard at at (910) 343-3880 or N.C. Wildlife communications at 800-662-7137.
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