RSS feed of this blog

Search continues for missing man

A search is ongoing for a man who went missing Wednesday during an early morning kayak trip in the Potomac River near Coles Point in Westmoreland County.

The missing kayaker, Jeryl Cordelle Dickerson Jr., 22, was attempting to paddle 5 miles across the Potomac River from Hague to Tall Timbers Marina in St. Mary’s County, Md., Maryland Natural Resources Police spokeswoman Candy Thomson said. Dickerson, who is from Woodbridge, also lived in Westmoreland at one time.

He and a co-worker, who was in another kayak, paddled about a mile out when the co-worker noticed Dickerson was showing signs of fatigue, Thomson said.

The co-worker went back to shore to retrieve a powerboat so that he could tow Dickerson to safety, Thomson said. But he was unable to find Dickerson when he returned.

The co-worker searched for a while before calling the Coast Guard at St. Inigoes, Md., Thomson said. The Maryland Natural Resources Police—with assistance from the Coast Guard, Virginia State Police, volunteer fire departments and the Westmoreland Sheriff’s Office—have been searching for Dickerson since Wednesday afternoon.

Dickerson’s kayak was found bobbing against the shoreline on the Westmoreland side of the Potomac on the day he went missing, Thomson said.

Dickerson and the co-worker had driven to Westmoreland with three others after their shift ended at a restaurant in Woodbridge, Thomson said. The two started their kayak trip around 6:15 a.m., or approximately four hours after they arrived at a family member’s vacation home near Coles Point, she said. They had planned to have breakfast at the Tall Timbers Marina on the other side of the Potomac.

The water temperature was 58 degrees when Dickerson went missing, Thomson said. He was not wearing a life vest and didn’t have a cellphone with him.

It’s unclear whether he could swim.

Thomson said the Natural Resources Police generally continue a search until a body is found.

Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402