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Volunteers gather to search for missing fisherman Nik Kayler on Lake Okeechobee; reward offered

Posted at 7:13 PM, Jan 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-09 04:39:15-05

UPDATE: The brother of missing fisherman Nik Kayler said Monday that a reward of $10,000 will be offered to anyone who finds him. 


On Monday night, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials confirmed that rough waters may be to blame for a boating incident in which a fisherman was lost on Lake Okeechobee las week.

This was day five of the search for Nik Kayler.

FWC, who is still the lead agency in the investigation, has multiple units with several other agencies staged at multiple points around the lake.

Volunteers have teamed up with authorities to help search for the missing father.

Okeechobee fisherman Tom Burks says out on the water Monday there was a little extra
on his mind.

While he didn't set out specifically to search for Kayler, he and so many other fisherman are taking it upon themselves to look.

“I think probably all the fishermen, they’re not wanting to find something but they are looking for somebody," he said.

It’s been five days now since Kayler was last seen.

He and his teammate, Bill Kisiah, were competing in a fishing tournament on Lake Okeechobee.

According to FWC, their boat encountered rough waters and struck a wave.

Both men went into the water. However, Kisiah made it back to the boat and drifted back to shore.

Now the search for Kayler has friends, family and complete strangers coming together to help.

“There’s been almost over 1,000 people on this water and it’s still not enough,” said Nik’s younger brother Anthony Llanos.

Llanos said his brother was wearing a life jacket and thermal gear. He's holding out hope that there's still a chance his brother will be found alive.

“Nik is an eight-year Army veteran. Myself, I'm a 10-year Marine Corps veteran,” said Llanos. “I know my brother, and he’s stronger than I am. I know he could have made it. Ii just know it."