The search for a man who went missing Wednesday while trying to rescue a kayaker is over after crews Thursday found a body matching his description, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

Crews suspended the search as of 10:37 a.m. after receiving notification about the discovery, officials said.

The Coast Guard announced the end of the search just after noon Thursday.

Nineteen agencies and local boat owners had been helping in the search for Todd Riddle, 57, a Kemah Boardwalk employee who went missing in the waters near the boardwalk Wednesday morning, officials said.

Representatives of Landry’s Inc., which owns the Kemah Boardwalk, called Riddle’s death a tragedy.

“We are deeply saddened about the tragic loss of our colleague, Robert Riddle,” said Keith Beitler, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Landry’s Inc. “He was a long-term, valued member of our boardwalk team. This is truly a tragedy, and our hearts are with the Riddle family during this difficult time.”

Riddle jumped into the water at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday along with several other employees to help a kayaker who had fallen from his boat about 100 yards offshore of Kemah, Kemah Police Chief Walter Gant said.

What happened next is unclear. The employees reached the kayaker, who was able to safely reach the shore. However, Riddle disappeared into the water.

Witnesses on shore saw Riddle go missing and called police for help.

Gant had few details to add Thursday afternoon, but confirmed law enforcement officials found a body matching Riddle’s description near where he disappeared Wednesday morning.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230;


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