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New York Media Contact: (212) 668-7114

1st District Public Affairs

U.S. Coast Guard

News Release

Date: June 05, 2012

U.S. Coast Guard

Contact: Public Affairs Detachment New York

Office: (212) 668-7114

Mobile: (917) 703-0983

Coast Guard launches assets for five adrift kayaks in NY, CT waters

View Coast Guard recovers five unmanned and adrift kayaks in a larger map

An unmanned and adrift kayak discovered by Coast Guard Station Eatons Neck

NEW YORK - The Coast Guard launched multiple search and rescue assets for a number of kayaks, all unmanned and adrift, located throughout New York and Connecticut waterways Tuesday.

The first two were located 1/2 mile north of Plum Island in Long Island Sound by a ferry crew.  Neither kayak had identification markings, and there were no signs of distress in the immediate area.  The Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound Command Center in New Haven, Conn., issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched a rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station New London, Conn., to investigate.  While the rescue crew conducted their search, the command center contacted local police departments on both sides of eastern Long Island Sound.  There were no correlating reports of missing persons or active searches.

A third unmanned and adrift kayak was discovered about an hour later by a rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Eatons Neck, N.Y., while conducting training.  Like the first two, there were no contents aboard, no discernable markings, no signs of distress in the immediate area and no reports of ongoing searches from local authorities.

A fourth unmanned and adrift kayak was discovered by a sailing vessel one nautical mile south of Milford Harbor, Conn.  It was found with its rudder lashed and secured in the upright, stowed position.  The Coast Guard issued an urgent information marine broadcast and launched a rescue boat crew from Station New Haven.  The rescue boat crew arrived on scene but reported no signs of distress after a search of the area.

A fifth unmanned and adrift kayak was discovered in the waters near Execution Rocks in Long Island Sound.  The Coast Guard issued an urgent information marine broadcast and launched a rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Kings Point, N.Y.  There were no reports of missing kayakers in Westchester County.  Local kayak rental offices were also contacted.

"We need kayak owners to help us make that first distinction.  If there's some kind of marking -- a name, a phone number or an address --authorities can use that information to verify ownership and determine that kayak was not in use during the time of discovery," said Lt. j.g. Tim Kessell, a command duty officer with Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound.  "When that first distinction fails, valuable time is wasted on a non-distress situation."

"We've been experiencing higher than normal tides in the area lately, and there is a coastal flood advisory in the Sound," said Kessell. "When that happens, boats and kayaks that a person would think reasonably secure can and will float away."

In addition to wearing a life jacket and filing a float plan, the Coast Guard would like to remind kayakers to clearly mark their property with their name and telephone number using a sticker, paint or a permanent marker.  The kayak should also be tied securely in order to prevent drifting.

The Paddle Smart Campaign is a volunteer identification program designed to help the Coast Guard and state boating agencies determine the actuality of distress situations and appropriate response needed.

Any owner whose boat has come loose from its mooring or is missing should report it to the Coast Guard.  When a vessel is found with identification, not only can the owner be quickly contacted to determine if someone may be in distress, the owner can also quickly reclaim their boat.

Paddle Smart:



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