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"I don't want to believe it": Search continues for missing 77-year-old kayaker from Naples

Posted at 5:28 PM, May 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-02 17:28:51-04

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla — Rescue crews continue to search for a missing man after his documents were found in an abandoned kayak three miles off the coast of Bonita Beach.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit and United States Coast Guard say the documents belonged to 77-year-old retired Naples resident Kenneth Humiston.

Humiston is the co-founder of a local coastal consulting firm and has reportedly been missing since Wednesday.

Now authorities are searching the water.

"I certainly don't want to believe it because Ken is close and dear to all of us here," said Dr. Mohamed Dabees, who has worked with Humiston for over 20 years.

Humiston was no stranger to the outdoors and Dabees says he had been out in the water before.

"After he retired, he was into nature photography and fishing and hiking, and you know, outdoors was a big part of who Ken is," Dabees explained.

At the back of Humiston's Naples home was a creek that lead into the gulf of Mexico. Dabees said Humiston would have been able to use his kayak to get out at sea.

"It's a difficult situation to even think about, so I'm just hoping that he's alright somewhere," Dabees expressed.

A fishing rod and other equipment was found on the kayak.

"These boats can hold up to 500 pounds of equipment," said Michael Furman, the owner of a local kayak rental business.

"They're very hard to flip over, but occasionally we get that one person that does flip, and it takes about 2 people, sometimes 3 depending on the weight of the individual, to get that person back on board," Furman explained.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office says it is continuing search efforts with the U.S. Coast Guard and is working closely with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

It is asking anyone with additional information is asked to call the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at 239-477-1000.