FREMONT (CBS SF) – The search for a kayaker missing since Tuesday afternoon was called off Wednesday afternoon with crews still unable to locate the man, according to a Fremont fire division chief.
The search was called off at about 2 p.m. due to the low tide, which lowered the water level and is preventing boats from accessing the search areas, according to Fremont Fire Division Chief Diane Hendry.
The U.S. Coast Guard had been searching for the San Jose man who disappeared in San Francisco Bay near Fremont Tuesday afternoon when his kayak capsized for nearly 24 hours.
Emergency crews rescued one man Tuesday evening and spent hours searching in the dark for the second victim, identified as Kenneth Maldonado, a 35-year-old man from San Jose, according to a fire chief with the Menlo Park Fire Protection District.
One victim was in a raft and Maldonado was in a kayak in the waters south of the Dumbarton railroad trestle Tuesday afternoon when the kayak capsized and Maldonado went under.
Maldonado was last seen in his kayak at about 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon by the friend on the raft. The kayak began taking on water and the friend tried to tow him to shore before it capsized.
“The boat was upside down. It had capsized and he no longer saw his friend,” said Diane Hendry with the Fremont Fire Department.
The man in the raft used a cellphone to call for help at 4:38 p.m., telling dispatchers that Maldonado was in the water with no life vest.
The Coast Guard and four local fire departments have been searching ever since, calling this a missing persons case as of 10 a.m. Wednesday morning.
The search area stretches from the Dumbarton Bridge south to the tip of the Bay. Crews are focusing on the levees where the tides seem to pool in the hopes of finding Maldonado.
“The water is extremely cold and it was very cold last night,” said Hendry on Wednesday. “So if he could have gotten out of the water up on one of the levees, there’s still a chance.”
According to Coast Guard Ensign Courtney Hanson, a patrol boat was on scene to continue the search throughout the night. A helicopter and a small boat from Station San Francisco returned first thing Wednesday morning to continue the search at first light.
Maldonado’s girlfriend spent the morning searching with his family on the Bay, holding this picture of them in her hand.
Depending on the changing tide, authorities think they can get the whole area searched Wednesday.
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