Search resumes for missing kayaker in Potomac River

BALTIMORE, Md. (WUSA9) -- The search for a missing kayaker resumed on the Potomac River on Friday, according to Candy Thompson, Maryland Natural Resources Police spokesperson.

Thompson says two friends who worked together at a restaurant in Woodbridge stayed up all Tuesday night and then went kayaking in the Potomac. After their shift ended, 22-year-old Jeryl Cordelle Dickerson, Jr.and 24-year-old Matthew Ryan Kerrse drove to a family member's home in Hague, Va. before deciding to paddle from Coles Point, Va. to Tall Timbers Marina in St. Mary's County, Md., according to Thompson.

The friends started paddling in two kayaks at about 7 a.m. Wednesday, says Thompson. Approximately 15 or 20 minutes into the trip, Kerrse noticed Dickerson didn't look well and told him to wait while he went to shore to bring back a power boat. Thompson tells WUSA9 that when Kerrse returned he couldn't find Dickerson.

Kerrse later told Natural Resources police that he tried searching on his own before calling the Coast Guard at St. Inigoes, Md. He stated that Dickerson had no life vest and no cellphone at the time of his disappearance, according to Thompson.

A citizen later reported seeing yellow kayak floating about 1/4 mile off shore near Ragged Point, not too far from Coles Point, says Thompson. Then, at approximately 2 p.m. the Westmoreland County (VA) fire boat found the kayak had run ashore. Thompson says there were no footprints or evidence that Dickerson had walked away.

According to Thompson, at the time Dickerson was last seen the Coast Guard estimated the water temperature was 58 degrees and there were one foot waves. It's unclear whether or not Dickerson knew how to swim, says Thompson.

Search efforts so far have involved various agencies including the Coast Guard, Virginia State Police divers, and Natural Resources Police divers with side-scan sonar.


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