Coast Guard: Missing Kayaker Found Dead

The body of a Massachusetts kayaker who went missing Tuesday has been found, the U.S. Coast Guard announced Wednesday.

Seventy-two-year-old Craig Dustin Sr. of Saugus was last seen Tuesday around 11 a.m. when he left in his kayak from the Fox Hill Yacht Club in that town. When he failed to return home at 2:30 p.m., the planned time, his son went looking for him and found his father's vehicle where he had parked it.

Massachusetts State Police said Dustin's red-and-yellow kayak was recovered unoccupied on Short Beach on the Revere-Winthrop line Wednesday morning. That location is south of Dustin's last known location at the mouth of the Saugus River.

Around 11:45 a.m., the Coast Guard confirmed the body of a man, consistent with Dustin's description, had been found later in the same area.

"The kayak was recovered up on the beach. We believe it may have been pulled up by somebody walking on the beach," Coast Guard Commander Lee Titus said. "It's rough conditions — the conditions at sea, as well as visibility and the surf conditions due to the tropical storm are difficult. They have made the search difficult, and the recovery was very close, but the Coast Guard vessel was able to get in and recover the individual."

While Jose proved to be an obstacle for responders, preventing a search helicopter from flying, Titus noted that the water would have been "relatively benign" when Dustin set out in his kayak Tuesday morning.

Dustin's family described him as being active and in good health, adding that he typically carries his cell phone with him. He is believed to have been wearing a life jacket, which was found a short distance from his body.

"He was in the surf, and the life jacket was noted close by," Titus said.

His neighbors were shocked to learn they won't be seeing Dustin return home.

"We’re so sorry to hear this morning about the bad news. It's very sad," said neighbor John Duros.

Foul play is not suspected, according to state police. The body was turned over to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the final identification.

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