The owner of an adrift blue kayak found Thursday in waters off Maui has been located safe, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, 14th District.
The kayaker was apparently never in distress, according to the Coast Guard. The man contacted the Coast Guard after he saw local news reports that the kayak was found. He reported that wind possibly carried it away from his sailing vessel that was moored at Mala Wharf on Maui.
Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center received a call from the operator of a dive boat, Grad School, on Thursday stating that he located an adrift blue kayak approximately a quarter mile offshore of the wharf, according to the Coast Guard.
The center subsequently issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast and launched a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Maui to search the area. An engine crew from the Maui Fire Department was also dispatched to Mala Wharf to assist, according to the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard advises the public to register and label all watercraft and equipment with contact information in order to quickly account for owners and prevent any unnecessary searches.
Through the Operation Paddle Smart program, the Coast Guard offers a free “If Found” decal that can be placed in a visible location on a small, human-powered watercraft. The information on the sicker can allow response entities to quickly identify the vessel’s owner and aid search and rescue planners in determining the best course of action.
The stickers can be obtained for free at any local harbormasters office, Coast Guard auxiliary and at select marine retail and supply stores.
For more information about Operation Paddle Smart, click here.