Miami Heat’s Kessler, Reported Missing at Sea, Turns Up Safe

From Associated Press

Miami Heat rookie forward Alec Kessler turned up safe and sound Sunday night after his failure to check in with family members during a boating trip in the Bahamas prompted a two-day search by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Kessler’s fiancee, Rhea Harrelson, notified the Coast Guard Sunday night that Kessler had finally called her on a cellular phone to say he was in the Abaco Islands and in no danger.

Kessler, 24, and two friends had left the Miami area Thursday afternoon, heading for the Bimini Islands, about 100 miles to the east, after loading camping gear on Kessler’s 33-foot speedboat.

The Coast Guard launched an aerial search that eventually covered 28,000 square miles of Atlantic Ocean after Harrelson called late Friday to report that she had not heard from Kessler as she had expected.


Coast Guard spokesman Carl Vitevitch said everyone is happy he’s safe, but “this does illustrate a point that all boaters should tell people where they’re going to go. If they make a commitment to call, they should call.”

Kessler and friends Mark Davis and Scott Johns were to scout out possible locations for Kessler’s honeymoon, said the basketball player’s father, Jay Kessler. The wedding is planned for May 11.

Kessler, from Georgia, played in 78 of the Heat’s 82 games this season, and averaged 6.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.