Harrison County

‘Everybody loved Kevin’ — body of missing boater recovered Wednesday

Melissa Holder of Gulfport said she received a disheartening phone call Tuesday morning regarding her longtime friend Kevin Anderson, who owned Kevin Anderson Salon on Courthouse Road.

“Someone from the salon called me and told me that Kevin was missing, that his boat had run ashore in Gulfport and the music was still playing on his radio,” Holder said. “I was cautiously hopeful when I heard he was missing, but he should not have been on that boat by himself.”

Anderson’s body was recovered Wednesday morning near Camille Cut by Ship Island in the Mississippi Sound. Rescue workers from Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, U.S. Coast Guard, Gulfport Fire and Rescue, Harrison County and other agencies had been searching for Anderson since his boat was reported abandoned on a beach near Gulfport Harbor on Tuesday at 7 a.m.

Anderson’s 17-foot Century had run aground with its motor still running.

“At approximately 8:25 (Wednesday) morning, crews with DMR located and identified the body of Kevin Anderson near Camille Cut, which is between east and west Ship Island,” DMR Chief Keith Davis said. “He was brought to shore where he was transitioned to Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove.”

Anderson was known to have seizures and took medication for them, Holder told the Sun Herald.

“Kevin had been having seizures for many years and he was having them again,” she said. “I know he took medication for them but I can’t say that’s what caused his accident because I’m not a doctor.”

Holder, who had been friends with Anderson for more than 35 years, said he was a father and an avid fisherman who “loved the water.”

“He went fishing every Monday,” she said. “His dad usually went with him — I’m not sure why he wasn’t with him on that last trip.”

Anderson and Holder maintained a longtime friendship. She said they even lived in the same neighborhood in Gulfport’s Bayou View.

“I just spent the day with him Sunday,” Holder said. He wanted me to go out on the boat with him on Monday but I had to work — I really wish I had gone with him.”

As Holder paused to find the words to describe Anderson, she said she will never forget her friend.

“Everybody loved Kevin,” Holder said. “He was my first love with I was 14 years old — he made an impact on everyone he met.”

Sun Herald digital producer Yolonda Cruz contributed to this report.