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NC Wildlife suspends search for missing kayaker

NC Wildlife suspended the search for missing kayaker Alexander Rush at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 9.

Rush was reported to have launched his kayak around 7 p.m. on Saturday from the access on the mainland side of the William B. Umstead Bridge (old Manns Harbor bridge). He was last heard from at approximately 10 p.m. Saturday night, according to the Coast Guard.

Local agencies began searching for Rush Sunday night. The Coast Guard stated that watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Carolina Command Center received a notification from Dare County emergency dispatcher at approximately 10:30 p.m. Sunday after the missing man’s wife made a 911 report.

The search for Rush has included numerous agencies – Coast Guard, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, Manns Harbor Volunteer Fire Department and Dare County Sheriff’s Office – as well as countless volunteers. Equipment deployed during the search included fixed wing, rotary wing aircraft, drones, sonar and numerous boats.

“Unfortunately, without better information as to what occurred that caused Mr. Rush to go missing and the time that had passed before he was reported missing, the search area encompassed the entirety of the Croatan Sound,” said Sgt. Johnathan Beardsley with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. “As NC Wildlife Officers and NC Marine Patrol go about their daily patrols on the water, an informal search will continue.”

Rush is described as a 5’11” tall, 220lbs. white male, 26, wearing a burgundy sweatshirt and gray waders.

Beardsley stated that if volunteers continue to search, it is recommended that all persons wear a life jacket and contact NC Wildlife with any developments at 800-662-7137 or 252-558-6654.

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