KEMAH, Texas – A dozen state and federal agencies are searching for a police chief who fell overboard after his fishing boat was hit by a wake of a passing vessel in Texas.
Kemah Police Chief Chris Reed was on a fishing boat with his wife in Galveston Bay on Friday afternoon when the incident happened, authorities said.
Reed fell overboard near the Texas City dike and hasn’t been seen since while his wife remained on the boat and was not injured. He did not have a life jacket on at the time, Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Caren Damon told reporters.
Kemah is on Galveston Bay about 40 miles from Houston.
About 40 vessels, including 15 from the Coast Guard, are searching for him, the Coast Guard said in a statement. An aircrew and a team of drones– along with 12 state, local and federal agencies — are involved in the search effort, said Tom Munoz, emergency management coordinator for Texas City.
The search will continue as long as authorities believe Reed could be on the surface of the water, Damon said.
“Number one, he’s just a great cop, just to start off with. He’s been in this county a long time, working for several different agencies,” said Texas City Police Chief Joe Stanton. “We’re a tight-knit group. He’s one of ours. And, we’re out there and we’re gonna find him.”
As law enforcement agencies searched for one of their own, Kemah residents gathered at the Veterans Memorial Stadium on Saturday night to support his loved ones.
In addition to his career as a police officer, Reed is a retired Army paratrooper and is on the Clear Creek Independent School District board, according to CNN affiliate KPRC.
His wife, Jana Reed, and their children Chase, Logan and Alexis, thanked those searching for him and offering love and strength.
“Chris Reed is a friend to everyone, a husband, brother, a son, a mentor, a protector, chief and a coach. But within each of those roles, Chris is always a connector,” the family said in a statement to the affiliate.
“He connects people to create synergy and a greater good. The power of connection tonight, paired with faith, hope and love is what Chris would expect from this community if he were in this stadium tonight.”