Texas police chief went overboard on fishing trip; search now in second day

"He was a big part of this Galveston County community," said a fellow Texas police chief.

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By Dennis Romero

The search for a missing Texas police chief believed to have gone overboard during a fishing trip in Galveston Bay was in its second day Saturday.

The incident was reported about 4 p.m. Friday about one and a half miles north of the Texas City Dike, described by locals as the longest manmade fishing pier in the world. Chief Chris Reed of nearby Kemah, Texas, was with his wife in a 24-foot fishing boat, Texas Emergency Management Coordinator Tom Munoz told reporters Friday night.

Kemah Chief of Police Chris ReedHarris County Sheriff's Office

"From the initial report it sounds like they caught a wake from a vessel passing through the area and they became off balance and [he] fell overboard," Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Caren Damon said at the news conference.

The chief was not wearing a life jacket, she said. His wife, who summoned authorities, was not reported injured and did not go overboard, authorities said.

According to the Coast Guard, about 35 vessels were at the scene of the search for the chief Saturday. Those include 15 Coast Guard vessels. A Coast Guard helicopter was also searching from the skies.

Reed, a retired Army paratrooper, is also a Clear Creek Independent School District board member. He has three children, including one who is a high school graduate and one who is a college graduate, Wendy Ellis, the city administrator for Kemah, told reporters

"He was a big part of Kemah and everything they were accomplishing and going over there," Texas City Police Chief Joe Stanton said at Friday's news conference. "He was a big part of this Galveston County community as far as law enforcement. We’re a tightknit group. He’s one of ours. And, we’re out there and we’re going to find him."

Michelle Acevedo contributed.