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Coast Guard, police search for missing man near Indian River Inlet

Authorities are searching the waterways for a missing Lewes man who went fishing Monday night and hasn’t been seen since.

State police spokesman Sgt. Walter Newton said 48-year-old Joel Thompson left about 11 p.m. to fish off the bulkheads at the base of the Indian River Inlet, DE 9 Indian River Inlet Bridge Indian River Inlet Bridge.

When he hadn’t returned home by this morning, family members called police.

Troopers found Thompson’s Toyota Tacoma pickup truck parked in the parking lot at the bridge.

The state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s marine unit and the U.S. Coast Guard are searching the waters south of Dewey Beach, Newton said.

Source: delawareonline.com

My prayers for the family.

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Sad news indeed...

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I Posted this on some "other" website.....but my story below is an important one to grasp for everybody venturing out on the rocks at IRI. And I know what im doing out there......I think.

The place is dangerous...after a close call or two I always wear a life jacket.

This past Friday night 4/23/10...i hooked a nice Striper...got him in to the rocks (I was wearing korkers and Life jacket). I had to get on my knees to reach down and lip him....and off I slid..my knees acted like skis on the sloping rock....slid right on top of the fish and in the water. Actually front flipped onto my back...but was wearing a Backpack and aforementioned life jacket. I had actually fallen into a little pocket of rocks, which saved me...but I had to grasp the rocks and pull myself up to keep from getting swept away. Thank God. Damn thing is is that there was a guy fishing 30 yards to my right, and when I got back up on the jetty..i looked at him, and he hadn't seen a thing.Further, it was ebb tide...which also probobaly saved me.

Worst part about it...the fish got off...

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same happened to me at point lookout, the difference that I didn't have a fish. But I end up in the water ( by the rock in the entrances of PL ) and the same to Me... anglers right and left, My wife and my two girls in the car waiting for Me. they only find out went I came in to the car dripping water.

Next day:pain and bruising.

PS. Now we have life jackets, Just missing a good pair of shoes for the rocks.

The end: acsidents will happen to rookies and to the big anglers, please take care of you self and be safe

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Sad news indeed, prayers go out to the family. Always play safe fellas!

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Very sad indeed.....

I totally agree with trimlc.

Buy a danged auto-inflate PFD and WEAR IT!

As he said, the rocks are slippery and ppl don't see you.

Glad you didn't bust your head trimlc.

Any update on this incident?

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Thu, Apr 29, 2010 | More

Lewes angler Joel Thompson

goes missing at Indian River Inlet

By Rob Kunzig

Of the many anglers Bill Baker has seen at the Indian River Inlet, Joel Thompson is the last person he’d expected to disappear off the rocks. Thompson is a seasoned angler, Baker said, and took precautions against tumbling into the inlet’s treacherous waters. But he’s been missing since the night of Monday, April 26, when he left his Lewes home to fish the jetties.

“He’s a very experienced jetty jockey,” said Baker, who owns Bill’s Sport Shop on Route 1. “He spent all of his free time fishing.” State police said Thompson left home at 11 p.m. Monday, April 26, telling his wife he was going fishing. Baker said she called state police the following morning, when he didn’t come home to take his children to school. Police found his Toyota Tacoma parked at the inlet, but Thompson is still missing.

Boats from Lewes Volunteer Fire Department and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) prowled the inlet waters the following day, searching for a sign of Thompson. State police divers plunged off the jetty on the inlet’s south side, searching for scraps of clothing or personal effects. Workers with the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company established a perimeter, and U.S. Coast Guard boats searched the waters around the inlet.

Bridgeville resident Fred Matthews watched the DNREC boat cut across the mouth of the inlet. “You’ve got to be careful,” he said. “Common sense, that’s it.” Matthews has been fishing the inlet for three years. Whenever he fishes the jetty, he wears a life jacket and straps spiked soles on his boots to give him better purchase on the rocks.

By 4 p.m., Tuesday, April 27 DNREC Chief Wayne Kline said the divers had suspended their search, though officials with the Division of Fish and Wildlife continued to scan the surrounding shorelines. On Thursday, April 29, Kline said DNREC boats had discontinued their efforts, though vessels on regular patrol were keeping an eye out.

DNREC enforcement Sgt. Gregory Rhodes said officials will probably soon use boats equipped with sonar to scan the inlet bottom. In the meantime, he said, state parks officials will continue searching the surrounding shorelines.

Baker said Thompson, a licensed captain, was familiar with the sea and its hazards. Like Matthews, Thompson wore a life jacket and spiked soles, called korkers. Baker described the fisherman as down-to-earth, a skilled angler who didn’t brag. His Toyota Tacoma is spangled with stickers of striped bass, Baker said, and loaded with fishing tackle. He said one could pick Thompson out of a crowd of jetty jockeys by the Wawa mug he held in one hand and the cigar in the other.

“He’s your typical, hardcore fisherman,” Baker said. On a corkboard in his shop, Baker tacked up a picture of Thompson holding a 35-pound striped bass in 2008. Written in marker above his portrait: R.I.P. Joel Thompson. At time of press, (5 p.m. Thursday, April 29,) Thompson was still missing.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Sadly, I would believe he is gone....

Please wear an auto-inflate PFD ya'll.

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Never underestimate the power of Indian River Inlet,I mated there for a few years,and have seen the flow stop boats in there tracks.Also was taking out a charter and came across a 6 point buck swimming, out about 2 miles. Got him swimming in the right direction,and called the Coast Guard ,who took over from there and got him to the beach. He must have fell or jumped in and got caught in the current.

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I was out on the rocks Friday night...at high tide...but i have sense about me. I stay to where the waves are not hitting and where there isn't much danger. But, as time goes on guys start to stack up to wait till the point is accessable. I watched, as two idiots, who wanted to be first on the end of the jetty, walked out into waves crashing 2 feet high on the rocks...as I said to myself..."stupid bleepnbleepers." They got maybe 20 feet...were knocked down to their knees...stayed on their knees for at least a minute groping for the rocks, soaked, cold and in harms way. Finally they made it off and back to safety. No life jackets...just the selfish drive to beat everyone else to the end of the rocks. Its just idiotic. People outta carry pictures of their families with them..and look real hard at the pics bfore they do something stupid or unsafe. Not worth it.

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