The search for a missing kayaker in the waters near Fish Creek continued Monday.
The search continued by local agencies all day Sunday, Aug. 20, until being suspended on account of darkness at 9 pm. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Door County Sheriff’s Department, Ephraim Fire Department, Gibraltar Fire Department, and the Sturgeon Bay Dive Team have all participated in the search, according to press releases issued by the U.S. Coast Guard 9th District Great Lakes and Door County Sheriff’s Department.
A search began at 9 pm Saturday, Aug. 19, when the family of a 20 year-old man called the Door County Sheriff’s Department. The man was believed to have been kayaking from Nicolet Bay to Horseshoe Island and expected to return at 4 pm.
The Door County Sheriffs Department notified the Coast Guard shortly after 10 pm after a crew from Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources notified them that they had found a kayak on Horseshoe Island. The man’s vehicle was located at a nearby boat ramp with his cell phone and a life jacket inside. A kayak was recovered in the waters off the park.
Watchstanders in the Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan command center launched a rescue crew from Station Washington Island and another boat from Sturgeon Bay, as well as an aircrew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Traverse City at about 10:15 pm.
The search continued through the night and into the morning of Aug. 20 in the area oo Green Bay between Nicolet Bay, Horseshoe Island, and up to Sister Bay. Searchers used search lights and illumination flares overnight.
Boatswain’s Mate Ryan Frazier of the United States Coast Guard Station in Sturgeon Bay said at least 14 Coast Guard personnel were involved in the effort.
“It was a pretty extensive search,” Frazier said. “The kayaker had not been located when we were released from the scene at 10:30 this morning.”
A total of three helicopters aided in the search, he said, using infrared cameras overnight to search for a heat signature.