Missing kayaker presumed dead

October 23, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A missing kayaker who fell into the water near Pier 80 this afternoon is now thought to be dead, a San Francisco Fire Department official said.

The fire department has concluded its search in the area around Pier 80 for the missing kayaker, although a U.S. Coast Guard and San Francisco Police Department boat remained on the scene this evening, Assistant Chief Dave Franklin said.

The kayaker, described as a 55-year-old white male, was apparently returning toward Pier 80 shortly before 3 p.m. today when he "got a little too close" to a tug boat that was repositioning a barge, according to San Francisco Police Officer Carlos Manfredi.

The man was caught in the tug boat's wash and apparently fell from his kayak into the water.

Franklin said that the fire department had searched all of the likely locations where the man could be. Due to the time elapsed since the accident and the circumstances under which he disappeared, fire officials concluded the search was now a body recovery operation rather than a rescue, he said.

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