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Sylacauga Excessive Faculty soccer coach who disappeared throughout Florida fishing journey positioned

Sylacauga High School Head Football Coach Chris Smelley was located safe Thursday evening after he was reported missing in Florida the same morning. The Walton County Sheriff’s Office said Smelley went fishing in his blue and black kayak around 8:30 a.m. in the Gulf of Mexico off Grayton Beach, but had not been seen since.

Sylacauga Excessive Faculty soccer coach who disappeared throughout Florida fishing journey positioned

Sylacauga Excessive Faculty Head Football Coach Chris Smelley was positioned protected Thursday night after he was reported lacking in Florida the identical morning.

The Walton County Sheriff’s Workplace mentioned Smelley went fishing in his blue and black kayak round 8:30 a.m. within the Gulf of Mexico off Grayton Seashore, however had not been seen since.

The sheriff’s workplace mentioned Smelley was discovered miles from the shore. He was reportedly in good spirits when he was discovered.

He was noticed by a coast guard helicopter round 7:12 p.m. nonetheless in his kayak about two miles off Grayton Seashore. A pal was contacted by radio to choose up Smelley by boat.

The sheriff’s workplace mentioned it searched the world together with the South Walton Fireplace District and had jet skis within the water.

Within the absence something and all the things else, hope will be the issue that adjustments an final result.

The group is rejoicing over Smelley’s protected return. It is the end result they prayed for.

“He’s only a great man, nice chief in the neighborhood. He loves our college students you’ll be able to see a ardour in what he does,” mentioned Sylacauga Soccer Chaplin Chris Theilacker.

The U.S. Coast Guard joined the search with a small boat together with an NH60 Jayhawk helicopter out of New Orleans. The Bay County Sheriff’s workplace additionally despatched a helicopter to assist in the search.

A spokesperson for the Walton County Sheriff’s workplace mentioned crews had been ready to be out in a single day if wanted. Public Data Officer Corey Dobridnia mentioned the waters appeared calm, however the way in which the wind was blowing it is tough for individuals to get again to shore.

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Smelley was final seen sporting a camo print swimsuit. He didn’t have a telephone or a life jacket with him on the journey.

The sheriff’s workplace mentioned Smelley’s outing was solely speculated to be an hour. He was final seen 9:30 am about 1.5 miles off the seaside.

The sheriff’s workplace mentioned Florida Fish and Wildlife additionally launched from the Inlet at Destin Move and is heading east in direction of Grayton.

Sylacauga Metropolis Colleges Superintendent Dr. Michele Eller launched the next assertion earlier than he was positioned:

“Our ideas and prayers are with Coach Smelley and his lovely household together with all search and rescue personnel as they search for him throughout this time.”

Smelley is a former College of South Carolina quarterback who performed below coach Steve Spurrier through the 2006-2008 seasons. He was additionally on the College of Alabama’s baseball staff from 2009-2010. Smelley is a Tuscaloosa native. He and his spouse have 4 kids.

Smelley started his teaching profession as an assistant at Hillcrest Excessive Faculty. He was head coach at American Christian Academy earlier than taking on at Sylacauga Excessive Faculty as head coach. Smelley additionally frolicked because the quarterbacks coach at Hoover Excessive Faculty.

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