Authorities continue search for possible missing kayaker on Lake Jesup

Seminole County sheriff’s deputies and rescue crews were back out at Lake Jesup, along the St. Johns River, on Saturday where they are investigating the discovery of an empty kayak found floating on the lake.

Just after 7:30 a.m., on Friday, a fisherman reported a kayak and oar floating in the water near Lake Jesup Park, located on the northwest side of the lake. 

"Upon inspection of the kayak, detectives have reason to suspect it had been occupied at some point," said Sheriff's Office spokesperson Kim Cannaday.

Detectives are searching area residences, parks, and boat ramps for more clues.  A helicopter was deployed Saturday morning to fly over the lake.

Boaters in the area said they are concerned for the kayaker because the lake is dangerous, and infested with alligators. 

“When the wind picks up, it gets really choppy out here. So I wouldn’t be out here on a kayak,” said Josh Simmerman. “My brother, he’s gator hunted out here and they pulled a 12-footer out of here, so there’s big gators. They say there’s one every five feet.”

Anyone who may know of someone who expressed an intention to go kayaking or fishing, and has not been heard from since Friday morning or earlier in the week is asked to contact Detective Wilkerson at 40--665-6537.