Search continues for missing 19-year-old fisherman

Officials continued searching Tuesday for a 19-year-old fisherman who went missing Monday night near Powderhorn Bayou in Indianola.

Officials continued searching throughout Tuesday for a 19-year-old fisherman who went missing Monday night near Powderhorn Bayou in Indianola.

The man was wade fishing when someone saw him go underwater and not resurface, said Chelsea Bailey, a spokeswoman for the Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens.

Game wardens responded to the possible drowning about 8 p.m. Monday but had to stop the search at 10 p.m. because of darkness. The search resumed at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday with the assistance of the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Coast Guard, which also helped Monday night.

As of 6 p.m., the man’s body still had not been found.

An air boat is being used to search the shallow area as well as a skiff boat equipped with a side scan sonar to detect objects underwater, Bailey said.

“It will let us know if there is anything underneath the water that needs to be looked at,” she said. “It won’t be completely clear, but it will show you if there is an object or a body or something that needs to be recovered.”

Tuesday’s high tide made searching shallow waters difficult, she added.

Watchstanders with the U.S. Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched Air Station Corpus Christi HC-144 Ocean Sentry and MH-65 Dolphin aircrews to assist with the search, as well as a Port O’Connor-stationed shallow-water boat crew, according to a news release.

The name of the fisherman will not be released until he has been found, but Sheriff Bobby Vickery said Monday night that the man recently moved to Calhoun County from Baltimore with his family and was probably not too familiar with the waters or the rip tides.

Officials have blocked off a perimeter by Powderhorn cut and will continue to make passes near where the man was last seen until he is located, Bailey said.

“We’re going to continue (searching) until we get to the bottom of this,” she said. “We’re going to stay out until we cannot see, and if we still are unable to locate him today, we will be out there again at 7:30 a.m.”

Bailey anticipated that if the man’s body was not found by about 10 p.m. Tuesday, recovery efforts would resume at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.

As the search continues, the game warden urged the public to remember to always take precautionary safety measures.

“We don’t know all the facts yet, but even something as simple as wade fishing on the banks near the water – you never know what you’re going to get into, so regardless of the situation, it is always important to wear a life jacket,” she said.

Kali Venable is a public safety reporter for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at 361-580-6558 or at kvenable@vicad.com.

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Investigative & Environmental Reporter

"I am a Houston native and 5th generation Texan, with a degree in journalism and minor in creative writing from the University of Texas at Austin. I care deeply about public interests and the community I serve.”

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