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Search continues for missing fisherman on Lake Okeechobee

Posted at 5:49 AM, Jan 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-08 11:52:13-05

The search for a missing fisherman continues on Monday after people scoured Lake Okeechobee all weekend in hopes of finding Nik Kayler.

Kayler and co-angler Bill Kisiah were participating in the Costa Fishing League Worldwide tournament when their boat capsized on Thursday night.

Kisiah was found late Thursday night with their boat, but Kayler is still missing.

On a Facebook group set up by people searching for Kayler, people said search and rescue crews from Orlando will be out to assist them Monday. The group is said to be equipped with sonar technology, K9s and airboats. 

The Down East Emergency Medicine Institute is also assisting and posting the coordinates for the areas they’ve searched. 

Kayler's wife, Kelly asked people not to give up and said on Facebook, "I know you are going to find my husband and bring him home to me and our little girl."

On Facebook it was also reported that Kisiah had been released from the hospital and that he was assisting by providing information about the moments he last saw Kayler.

The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, who is the lead agency in the search, has not provided additional updates.

A meeting Monday attended by family, friends and even strangers demonstrated people are not giving up hope. 

"Nik is an eight year Army veteran and I'm a 10 year Marine Corps veteran. I know myself in the water, I was a water survival instructor and I know my brother, and my brother is stronger than I am," Kayler's youngest brother Anthony Llanos said.

Llanos and the group are focusing their efforts on the northwest corner of the Lake, saying a lot of attention has been given to the south and east and need more airboats to the north.

"We know that he was wading and conscious in the water, we know he had a vest on, we know he had a thermal suit, it was bright blue," Llanos said.

Volunteers with boats are asked to check in at the Roland Martin Marina at 920 E Del Monte Ave in Clewiston. Contact person is Paige Hillbrands.