Coast Guard suspends search for missing RI kayaker

By Lucas Phillips and Adam Sennott Globe Correspondents 

The Coast Guard suspended its search Saturday night for a Warwick, R.I., man who never returned from a kayaking trip Friday, officials said.

Michael Perry, 46, reportedly planned to kayak on the Providence River near Conimicut Point in Rhode Island for an hour around midday. His wife reported him missing around 5 p.m. when he did not return, according to a Coast Guard statement.


The search was suspended around 5:41 p.m., the Coast Guard said in a statement Saturday night.

Petty Officer Andrew Barresi said two boats searched for the man through the night, even as darkness and “spotty but dense” fog limited visibility. A Coast Guard cutter and helicopter also joined in the search Saturday morning, he said during a telephone interview.

“The water temperature is extremely cold,” he said, explaining that the water was about 32 degrees Friday. “And when you’re on a kayak, you’re exposed to all the elements. That degree water splashing on your body, you can easily become hypothermic.”

Perry was in a 10-foot orange kayak, according to the press release. Barresi said the man had a life preserver on the boat, but it was not known whether he was wearing it.

“Folks have a little cabin fever and go out there in clothing dressed for the air and not for the water, and that can be [a] fatal mistake,” Barresi said.

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