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  • Coast Guard, WFD, WPD Search Conimicut for Missing Kayaker

    [CREDIT: Beth Hurd] WFD Fire Chief James McLaughlin speaks during a Saturday 5 p.m. press conference announcing the search for missing kayaker Michael Perry has been called off.

    [CREDIT: Beth Hurd] WFD Fire Chief James McLaughlin speaks during a Saturday 5 p.m. press conference announcing the search for missing kayaker Michael Perry has been called off. 

    UPDATE — 5:33 p.m.: Task force officials have called off the search for missing kayaker Michael Perry, said Warwick Fire Chief James McLaughlin during a 5 p.m. press conference at Fire Station 6, 456 West Shore Road.

    Officials notified the family that the search had been called off prior to the conference. About 40 people participated in the search for Perry.

    Perry was said to be an experienced kayaker. Searchers found no clues in the water that could be tied to Perry.

    Correction: The Coast Guard updated its statement to report Perry was headed to Conimicut Point Lighthouse.

    UPDATE — 1:15 p.m.: Coast Guard Petty Officer Andrew Barresi reported Warwick kayaker Michael Perry informed his wife of his planned route Friday, but may not have been properly prepared for the water temperature off Conimicut Point as heavy rains fell during the afternoon and evening.

    Nonetheless, Baressi said, the Coast Guard’s search remains active, with the two Coast Guard cutters dispatched Friday actively searching throughout the night.

    “We know his intended route. We know where to look,” Barresi said.

    Perry planned to kayak t o the Conimicut Point Lighthouse.

    Unfortunately, Barresi said, from what they know of Perry’s attire, he was likely dressed for the air temperature, which was 51 degrees, not the water temperature, which was only 32 degrees. In those conditions, Barresi said, kayakers should be wearing a dry suit to properly protect themselves from cold water.

    “We don’t think that he had that on,” Barresi said. He said it’s important for kayakers to remember to always know the water temperature, and to dress and prepare for that, rather than the air temperature, since it takes a while for the water temperature to catch up to what feels like much warmer conditions.

    But Barresi said in his experience, kayakers and boaters still often survive such conditions, particularly if they manage to make it to shore. He said there is still hope of rescuing Perry, and that the Coast Guard’s task force has committed new resources to the effort.

    This morning, Coast Guard Cutter Steelhead, an 87 foot cutter out of Newport, RI, joined the search, and visibility improved enough to allow the Coast Guard to also dispatch an MH-60 J-Hawk helicopter out of Cape Cod. Also, he said, Providence, Warwick and other area emergency crews are combing the waters and the shore.

    “The entire RI task force is out there,” searching for Perry, he said.

    [CREDIT: Beth Hurd] The Warwick Emergency Management Agency mobile command center and Warwick Fire trucks were stationed at Conimicut Point as WFD and WPD assisted in the search for missing kayaker Michael Perry.

    [CREDIT: Beth Hurd] The Warwick Emergency Management Agency mobile command center and Warwick Fire trucks were stationed at Conimicut Point as WFD and WPD assisted in the search for missing kayaker Michael Perry.

    CREDIT: Beth Hurd] A boat off Conimicut Point during a search for missing Kayaker Michael Perry.

    CREDIT: Beth Hurd] A boat off Conimicut Point during a search for missing Kayaker Michael Perry.

    CREDIT: Beth Hurd]

    CREDIT: Beth Hurd] An MH-60 J-Hawk helicopter out of Cape Cod aided in the search for kayaker Michael Perry.

    WARWICK, RI — Fire, police and US Coast Guard personnel were still searching for a missing kayaker Saturday morning after a long night combing Conimicut for the missing Warwick man.

    The Coast Guard-led search for 46-year-old Michael Perry of Warwick began Friday after he was reported overdue from a kayaking trip on the Providence River near Conimicut Point, according to the Coast Guard. The search continued this morning, according to a report from WPRI.com.

    Warwick Fire Chief James McLaughlin reported poor conditions during the search throughout a rain-strewn night, but said this morning visibility had significantly improved. He said the search remains active.

    At approximately 5 p.m. Friday, Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England watchstanders were notified via 911 dispatch that Perry was missing

    Perry reportedly left at noon on a 10-foot orange kayak and was expected to be on the water for an hour. When he did not return as planned, his wife notified 911 and gave them his intended route and schedule.

    A Coast Guard 45-foot rescue boat crew from Station Castle Hill, and a 49-foot boat crew from Aids to Navigation Team Bristol launched shortly after notification and are searching along with the Providence Police Department.

    The water temperature is 32 degrees and the air temperature is 51 degrees.

    It is unknown if Perry was wearing a life jacket.

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