VMRC: Missing man’s body found in the Chesapeake Bay

WAVY/Rico Bush

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Crews have found the body of the man who went missing in the water Thursday evening in the East Beach area of Ocean View.

A Maryland Pilot Boat notified VMRC around 9:45 a.m. that they located a body that matched the description of William Kevin Umphlett Jr., according to Laurie Naismith a spokesperson for Virginia Marine Resources Commission. The body was found in the Thimble Shoals area of Chesapeake Bay.

Officials say the search for the man was suspended at 8 p.m. Friday.

Captain Richard Wester with the Coast Guard told 10 on Your Side 28 boats and four types of aircraft were used for the search. Crews covered about 1,079 square miles over 39 hours searching for the missing man near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads received a report at 6:14 p.m. Thursday that a 25-year-old man was tubing behind a boat about 100 yards from Little Creek Channel, when he fell off of it.

Photos: Crews search for man missing in water in Ocean View

Family members tell 10 On Your Side they jumped in to try to save him but they couldn’t, so that’s when they called 911. The family was driving the boat while he was on the tube. The man entered the water at about 5:55 p.m. Family identified him as William Kevin Umphlett, Jr.

Photo courtesy: William Umphlett's family members
Photo courtesy: William Umphlett’s family members

The Coast Guard says Umphlett was not wearing a life vest. Friends tell 10 On Your Side he knows how to swim. He was last seen wearing a white and blue bathing suit.

“He was within 100 yards of that boat when he went down,” Daniel Norville, battalion chief of Norfolk Fire-Rescue, said Thursday. “And the boat that he was with stayed on site, and gave us a good position on where he was last seen.”

According to Norfolk police, the tube that Umphlett was seen floating in was recovered Thursday night.

An official told 10 On Your Side that currents were strong at the time Umphlett went missing.

“One of the most difficult things we have to do in the Coast Guard is suspend a search without finding the person we’re looking for,” said Capt. Richard Wester, commander, Sector Hampton Roads. ”Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of the missing man.”

The Virginia Marine Resource Commission is leading the investigation.

Stay with WAVY.com for updates to this developing story.

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