DETROIT (WWJ)– Coast Guard search crews ended their search Wednesday evening for a Garden City man who fell into the Detroit River from the Ambassador Bridge in downtown Detroit.
The missing man is 27-year old Kent Morton. He was part of a crew doing paint and welding work on the center span of the bridge when he fell about 1:45 p.m.
“The decision to suspend an active search and rescue case is the most difficult decision that our operators face,” said Chief Petty Officer Gabriel Settel, command center supervisor, Coast Guard Sector Detroit, in a statement. “Our thoughts go out to Mr. Morton’s family and friends during this incredibly difficult time.”
In all, crews scoured a combined search area of nearly 300 square nautical miles of the Detroit River. Morton’s family has been in constant contact with the Detroit Police Department, who have been providing updates on the status of the search.
A witness told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Stephanie Davis that Morton did surface after the fall and tried to swim.
Family members say Morton worked for Seaway Painting in Livonia. They also said his girlfriend was pregnant.
The state will conduct an investigation to determine what happened.
Talking with WWJ Newsradio 950 shortly after the search began, Settel described the rescue operation.
“We have a 45-foot rescue boat that’s on scene commencing the search and they normally have anywhere between five or seven crew members on board,” said Settel. “We also have a 65 helicopter, a dolphin helicopter, that’s conducting the search and they normally have four persons on board as well.”
A Detroit Police Department dive team had been called in to assist.
“We’re gonna basically get as many people as we can out there to conduct the search of this area,” Settel said.
Stay with WWJ and CBSDetroit.com for the latest.