(ABC NEWS) – Authorities have been searching Galveston Bay for one of their own after a local police chief was knocked overboard from a fishing boat.
Chris Reed, who serves as police chief for Kemah, Texas, located on the Gulf Coast just southeast of Houston, was knocked off the boat by a larger passing vessel near Texas City, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
“The initial report is, they caught a wake from another vessel passing through the area and became off balance and fell overboard,” said Texas Emergency Management Coordinator Tom Munoz.
Reed’s wife called 911 to report her husband had fallen overboard at about 4 p.m. local time Friday, authorities said.
He was not wearing a life jacket.
“Chief Reed is a big, big part of Galveston County law enforcement,” Texas City Police Chief Joe Stanton said at a press conference Friday night. “I want to thank all of the agencies that have responded — the response has been overwhelming — and our hearts and prayers go out to the family.”
“We’re a tight-knit group here and he’s one of ours, and we’re out there and we’re going to find him,” Stanton added.
On Saturday morning, the city released a statement on Facebook sending “prayers and thoughts” to Reed’s family as the search continued.
The Coast Guard mobilized both sea and air search-and-rescue units, but had not found Reed as of late Friday night.
“We will continue our search efforts through this evening and into tomorrow morning and the Coast Guard will continue its search efforts as long as we feel that he is viable on the surface,” Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Caren Damon told reporters Friday evening.
Reed also serves on the board for the Clear Creek Independent School District.
“Chris Reed is a champion for children and a beacon of light for CCISD,” the district said in a statement. “He is a strong man and we remain hopeful he will return to his wife and children.”
Reed is a former Army paratrooper who took over as Kemah police chief two years ago. He has three adult children.
ABC News’ Kevin Kraus and Ahmad Hemingway contributed to this report.