Here one day and gone the next. 39-year-old Ryan Vahle was seen late Saturday night but hasn’t been seen since.
“Certainly this is not something you want to hear about. I mean our thoughts and prayers are with the family and we’re certainly hoping for the best outcome,” says Steve Huffman with Mobile Fire Department.
Vahle was supposed to report to work at this fire station on Maryvale Street Sunday but was last seen leaving the Oar House in Pensacola Saturday night around 8:00 pm. His father, Mike Vahle spoke to us about how he is getting through this tough week.
“I focus on him, you know, we’ll find him. That’s where I’m focused at,” says Vahle.
Vahle lived on this catamaran. Police found his wallet, cash, even his uniform laid out for work the next day. But say his keys were in the door as if he were locking up, getting ready to leave. Before Mobile, Vahle worked in Pelham, Birmingham, and overseas in Iraq. Crews have been out searching, including the men he worked with.
“Huge turnout yesterday from Mobile, came over and helped look, brought a boat over, searching with the boat,” says Vahle
And this is the truck Vahle is assigned to, engine 16. Firefighters who worked with him tell me he was always getting to work early, always cleaning around the station, always a hard worker.
No doubt, he wanted to carry on the proud tradition after his father—a 32-year veteran firefighter, who is now trying to think of every possibility.
“I really don’t know. We’re probably presuming that he fell off the boat that night. We’re checking in with another boat the was actually next to him that night and when questioned they said they heard music but nothing out of the ordinary. It’s just one of those things where you just don’t know,” says Vahle.
The case is ongoing and they hope to continue water and shoreline searches this weekend.