Coast Guard suspends search for missing kayaker

Lyle Dagenais (left), of Montville, is still missing after his kayak was found (right) by searchers Monday (WTNH / Tina Detelj)

UPDATE: The Coast Guard has suspended its search for missing kayaker Lyle Dagenais. Responders searched for Dagenais for approximately 15 hours, spanning 80-square nautical miles.

MONTVILLE, Conn. (WTNH) — The cream colored kayak belonging to Lyle Dagenais was brought in by searchers almost 24 hours to the minute after Dagenais left the same Montville town boat launch to go fishing Sunday morning at 11:00. He never returned home.

“He’s a good man and that is definitely upsetting to hear,” says Shaun Jones who lives next door to the missing Montville man.

Jones knew his neighbor was an avid fisherman. The coast guard says Dagenais’ kayak was found by boaters at around 3:00pm Sunday near a buoy in the middle of the Thames River not far from the boat launch.

The boaters though didn’t contact police until Monday morning because they didn’t think the kayak they found was the right color. It’s down rigger fish finder was engaged and a fishing pole was on board but there was no sign of Daganais.

Police are hoping anyone who finds anything that could be related gives them a call as soon as possible.

“I just hope that they find him,” says Jones. “I hope that he comes home because I know his family too. I know his mother.”

The search Monday morning was intense. The Coast Guard, Montville police, and Mohegan Fire searched along the water while a State Police helicopterr searched from above.

“It gives us a lot of eyes,” says State Trooper Mark Juhola. “It gives us a large area that we can easily see and function more appropriately.”

Dagenais was last seen wearing a sweatshirt and jeans or khaki pants.

“With the water temp he probably would have only had about fifteen to thirty minutes but that’s if he had fallen in the water,” says Patrick White with U.S. Coast Guard Station New Londonn. “For all we know he didn’t and he’s on land somewhere.”

“Always have another person with you,” says Montville resident Patrick Kennedy. “I know that much. Never by yourself in case something…  anything can happen.”

There is no word on whether or not Deganais was wearing a life vest.

Anyone with information on the location of Dagenais is encouraged to contact the U.S. Coast Guard at (203) 468-4401.

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