Coast Guard calls off search for missing kayaker in York River

Posted at 5:18 PM, Feb 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-14 23:11:11-05

GLOUCESTER POINT, Va. - The Coast Guard and local agencies have suspended the search for a missing man in the York River.

58-year-old Michael Ballard was last seen in Gloucester Point near the Gloucester Point Boat Ramp, the Coast Guard said.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads in Portsmouth were notified at 10:55 a.m., Tuesday by the Virginia Marine Police that Ballard was reported missing after he did not return from his Monday kayaking trip.

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew and a 38-foot Special Purpose Craft-Shallow water crew from Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown, a 29-foot Response Boat-Small crew from Station Milford Haven and an MH-60 Jawhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, all responded to the search.

Crews searched 265 square nautical miles, but have not found the boater.

Ballard's wife made the initial report that her husband left home Monday morning for the Gloucester Point Boat Ramp with a 12-foot, forest green, sit-in kayak and was due back home that evening.

Ballard's vehicle was found parked at the ramp but there is no sign of his kayak. Security cameras near the boat ramp show Ballard arriving with the kayak attached to his vehicle.