Man Missing on Bay near Norfolk, in 8-Foot Raft

The Coast Guard and other agencies are searching for a man who hasn't been seen since he planned to take his 8-foot raft out from his Norfolk home.

The Norfolk Police called the Coast Guard around 5 p.m. Saturday, after 49-year-old Wesley Schoonmaker was last seen leaving his house in a full wetsuit. He had apparently been planning to test out a new oar on his raft near Willoughby Spit in Norfolk.

 USCG Cutter Mako, Photo by Lorraine Merrill, shipspotting.com

USCG Cutter Mako, Photo by Lorraine Merrill, shipspotting.com

The raft is 8 feet long, yellow and dark blue. A 45-foot Coast Guard Response crew launched from Stations Portsmouth and Little Creek, and the Cutter Mako was diverted to join the search. An MH-60 helicopter, along with Virginia Marine Police crews, also helped search through the night Saturday.

Coast Guard crews have continued searching Sunday morning along with state and local agencies. 

"We are actively searching for Mr. Schoonmaker from the air and on the water," said Capt. Richard Wester, commander, Sector Hampton Roads. "Anyone with information that might help find him, please contact the Sector Hampton Roads Command Center at 757-668-5555."

Bay Bulletin