NewsCovering Florida


U.S. Coast Guard suspends search for missing kayaker near Vero Beach

Crews continued a four day search for Donald Waters
Coast Guard suspends search for Donald Waters
Donald Waters' kayak
Posted at 3:25 PM, Aug 08, 2021

MIAMI, Fla. — The Coast Guard has suspended the search for Donald Waters, a 42-year-old male kayaker who went missing Tuesday near Vero Beach. Multiple agencies both on and above the surface of the water searched for Waters for over four days.

Waters' backpack was located two miles east of Vero Beach at 12:18 p.m. on Saturday. The Coast Guard and mission partners searched more than 7,100 square nautical miles for approximately 114 hours.

"The decision to suspend a case is never an easy one," Senior Chief Petty Officer Jason Reynolds, a command duty officer for Sector Miami Command Center said. "Our greatest sympathies go out to the Waters family during this time."

Vero Beach Police Department notified Coast Guard Sector Miami watchstanders on Tuesday at 9:40 a.m. that Waters went missing while kayaking.

A Station Fort Pierce rescue crew and an Air Station Miami helicopter crew launched and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Flying Fish to assist in the search. Vero Beach Police Department conducted shore side patrols and launched marine and air crews.

Coast Guard assets involved in the search include the following:

  • MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Air Station Miami
  • MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew from Air Station Clearwater
  • C-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Clearwater
  • A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Station Fort Pierce
  • Coast Guard Cutter Webber
  • Coast Guard Cutter Flying Fish
  • Coast Guard Cutter Ibis
  • Coast Guard Cutter Skipjack

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were also involved in the search.

If you have any information, please call Coast Guard Sector Miami Command Center at 305-535-4472.