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Kayak found overturned belongs to missing kayaker in N.C. last seen Saturday; search suspended

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Posted at 2:50 PM, Dec 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-07 22:39:12-05

WILMINGTON N.C. — The Coast Guard has suspended its search for a 26-year-old man who left Manns Harbor on a kayak fishing trip Saturday evening.

Watchstanders from Coast Guard Sector North Carolina Command Center received a notification from Dare County emergency dispatcher around 10:30 p.m. on Sunday after the man’s wife made a 911 report.

The last contact with the missing man, identified as 26-year-old Alexander Rush, was 10 p.m. Sunday.

Crews began searching Sunday night and continued Monday with several additional crews.

Around 12:15 p.m., Monday, a yellow kayak matching the description of the report was discovered overturned near Roanoke Island. A member of the missing man's family confirmed it was the kayak he left in.

"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 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.

Anyone with information about Rush's whereabouts is asked to reach out to the Sector North Carolina Command Center at (910) 343-3880.

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