FLW is extremely saddened to announce that the body of co-angler Nik Kayler, 38, of Apopka, Florida, has been recovered from Lake Okeechobee.
Kayler’s body was recovered from the lake near Clewiston, Florida, Wednesday morning by a commercial vessel.
Numerous agencies, including the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), United States Coast Guard, St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office and Okeechobee Sheriff’s Office were involved in the search which began Thursday evening.
“Our prayers are with Nik’s family during this time of unimaginable tragedy,” said FLW President of Operations Kathy Fennel. “The loss of his life touches the entire fishing community.”
Further updates will be released as they become available from local authorities investigating the accident.
A GoFundMe campaign has been established benefiting Nik’s wife, Kelly, and daughter, Caralee. To make a contribution, please visit GoFundMe.com/Nik-Kayler.
An official statement from the FWC was released Wednesday afternoon:
On Thursday, January 4, William Kisiah (DOB 4/9/1966) of Slidell, LA and Nicolas Kayler (DOB 1/1/1980) of Apopka, FL departed the C. Scott Driver boat ramp located on the Kissimmee River in Okeechobee, Florida aboard a 21’ Ranger Bass Boat. Preliminary information indicates that the vessel encountered rough waters and struck a wave and Mr. Kayler was ejected from the vessel. Mr. Kisiah made landfall at the Pahokee Marina later that evening when he made contact with Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Numerous agencies, including the FWC, United States Coast Guard, St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office and Okeechobee Sheriff’s Office were involved in the search for Mr. Kayler.
Mr. Kayler’s body was recovered on the morning of January 10 by a commercial vessel in the vicinity of the Clewiston water tower on the lake.
All of the members of the FWC want to express our sincere sympathies to the victims and families of the victims involved in this incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. The FWC would like to take this opportunity to remind all boaters enjoying Florida’s beautiful waterways to do so safely. Please wear your life jacket and maintain 360-degree awareness at all times while boating. For boating safety tips, please visit MyFWC.com/boating. This incident is currently under investigation by the FWC.
Tom Kiefer – Guided Fishing Trips, Bass Guide, Smallmouth Bass Guide https://www.tkofishmich.com/about-us.html