Search suspended for young fisherman presumed drowned

Fernandina Beach Police Department Press ReleasePolice Dept

James T. Hurley, Chief of Police

On May 30, 2013, seventeen year old Caster Nova Gray of Nashville, Georgia was fishing in shallow water off the bank of Fort Clinch when he apparently stepped into the deep water of the channel and was swept under water by the strong currents. Friends fishing with Gray made a valiant attempt to save him, however the strong water prevented them from bringing him to safety.

Immediately after the incident was reported, law enforcement officers from the Fernandina Beach Police Department, Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, Camden County Georgia Sheriff’s Office, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and the United States Coast Guard searched the area in an attempt to locate Gray. Several law enforcement agencies continued to search from the shore, the air and by boat through Monday afternoon without any results.  As the search progressed, the United States Coast Guard worked closely with the Fernandina Beach Police Department to provide information on recovery assessments based on the tides and current, using state of the art sonar technology and modeling software. 

In addition to the comprehensive search, various law enforcement dive teams were consulted.  However, due to the size and severe conditions of the channel, such as rip currents near shore, as well as known obstructions and poor visibility within the channel, it was deemed unsafe for divers to conduct a grid search. 

Despite the official search being suspended, officers assigned to the area that patrol the beaches and ocean on a regular basis will continue be alert for any evidence that might lead to the recovery of Gray.

June 3, 2013 2:50 p.m.

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