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Officials search for missing UNF kayaker

Garth Sangree, 22, last seen Friday near Jacksonville Beach pier.

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – The Coast Guard continues its search this morning for a 22-year-old man who is believed to have gone kayaking Friday near the Jacksonville Beach pier.

The Jacksonville Beach police, St. Johns County Sheriff's Office and the Coast Guard rescue crews were launched Sunday to search for Garth Sangree, a University of North Florida student.

Investigators said Sangree apparently went kayaking Friday in the vicinity of the Jacksonville Beach Pier and never returned.

Sangree's friends say he rented the kayak from the University of North Florida, where he's been attending college.

Friends last saw Sangree Friday. They were at Jax Beach all day Sunday during the search. They said Sangree is someone who can handle challenging situations.

"He's definitely the risk taking type, but also someone that definitely knows the outdoors well and knows what he's doing," said Kevin Todd, Sangree's best friend. "I'm confident he's able to handle any kind of tough conditions."

Friends said he was supposed to be at church Sunday morning. When he didn't show up, they began to worry.

"He's always on time, always super punctual, and this is so not like him and that's why we came out here," said Todd.

Sangree's mother, Lisa Sangree, lives out of town. She said she's remaining hopeful her son is found safely.

 "I'm pretty worried, I'm doing OK at the moment just relying on peace from God," said Lisa Sangree. "That whatever the outcome, he'll bring us through it."

Coast guard officials say it's still considering this a rescue mission at this point.

Sangree is approximately 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds. He was reportedly in a lime green and white kayak.

Anyone with information is asked to contact officials at 904-564-7500 and select option zero.


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