Owner of unmanned, adrift dinghy located safe on Maui


The owner of an unmanned, adrift dinghy has been located safe ashore Monday on Maui.

The mariner was never in distress and the dinghy had broken loose from the harbor, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard received a report of an unmanned adrift, black and grey inflatable dinghy offshore approximately 2.5 miles west of Kaanapali, Maui on Monday.

The passenger ferry Molokai Princess reported the dinghy adrift at approximately 7:45 a.m., and took it in tow back to Kaunakakai Harbor on Molokai, according to the Coast Guard. There were no markings on the vessel, the oars and equipment in the dinghy appeared to be stowed and it appeared to have broken free from another vessel.

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 to be placed in a visible location on small, human-powered watercraft. The information on the sticker 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 local harbormasters, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, from Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron offices and at select marine retail and supply stores.