Authorities: Search for missing kayaker to be suspended

Author: Andrew Scheinthal

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Search crews will suspend the search for a kayaker, missing since Friday, at sunset.

The family of Andrew Barber says its still holding out hope.

An intense search has been underway for nearly three days.

Barber’s family wishes they could personally thank every single person for the countless hours and dedication they have spent on the search.

Monday, FWC and LCSO continued to search and say they won’t give up until Barber is found. However, authorities tell WINK News this is now a recovery.

“The sense of loss we already feel, with not having any physical person… is just, it’s tough, it’s very tough.”

A heartbroken family is anxiously waiting for word that Barber has been found.

“Dealing with that has been very hard with no sign of Andrew, but finding some of his personal belongings, it’s all been very hard on the family.”

Faced with an unthinkable tragedy, the family is holding onto hope, that the search will bring them some sort of closure.

“The whole deal has been horrific. The set of circumstances, there is a lot of unknowns and a lot of things left unanswered.”

Andrew’s uncle says the family is forever grateful to every single person who has come out to help in the search.

“We say thank you, we certainly can’t personally thank everyone, but we wish we could.”

Barber went missing Friday night, when the kayak he was fishing in flipped over. Police say he was caught in the current and didn’t make it to shore. The friend he was with was able to swim back.

“Andrew’s mother is just, she’s devastated, as we all are, but Andrew was her life.”

The kayak Barber was in was found 3 miles offshore, along with some of this belongings.

FWC tells WINK News, the friend Andrew was with said the two had been drinking the night they went fishing. However, Barber’s family says he had not had a drink at the time the kayak flipped and doesn’t think alcohol was involved in the incident.

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