Missing kayaker found dead in Texas City identified as Houston man

By Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli - Digital News Editor, Cathy Hernandez - Reporter

TEXAS CITY, Texas - Authorities have identified the missing kayaker found dead in Texas City Wednesday morning.

Steven Ramos, 41, launched his kayak around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday and was last seen around 4:30 p.m. about 300 yards from the north side of the Texas City Dike, police said.

According to the Texas City Police Department, the man was reported missing around 8 p.m. Tuesday after he failed to show up for a dinner date.

Family members said they found Ramos' body around 4 a.m. Wednesday on Levee Road nearly two miles from where he had launched.

Mario Villarreal - who has been at the docks every day for 30 years - was on the dock of the Texas City Dike Tuesday, when Ramos went missing.

“I started since I was 6 years old. I’ve been fishing since. All my life,” said Villarreal, so he knows how dangerous the water can be and even warns others, especially kayakers.

Villareal said he didn't make it out to go fishing Tuesday night but he wishes he had.

“You might go out there, but it’ll be a hard time getting back, paddling back up. So it’s a bad thing. (I advise) just not to go out there when it’s windy like this,” said Villarreal.

Another fisherman said the winds, the tide and the swells from ships coming by made for a bad combination.

“It was very windy last night and there could’ve been enough swells to tip (the kayak) over. It could’ve just been the wind or a ship came by,” the fisherman said. “(There are) very dangerous conditions out here. You got to know what you’re doing.”

Police said Ramos is believed to have been fishing in the area and died of an apparent drowning. Authorities said he was not wearing a life vest. 

The Galveston County Medical Examiner's Office will be conducting an investigation.

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