Coast Guard aides in search for paddle boarder

A Cost Guard Air Station San Francisco MH-65 Dolphin helicopter

USCG File Photo

SAN FRANCISCO β€” Coast Guard personnel assisted in an overnight search Saturday until a Mission City Patrol Boat crew located a 60-year-old paddle boarder Sunday morning, who was reported missing near San Rafael Creek.

The search for Jane Butler began after her son notified Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders around 11:00 p.m., reporting his mom left to paddleboard and usually returns by sunset but had not returned.

Coast Guard and local agency crews searched extensively throughout the night and early morning. Coast Guard assets covered 177 cumulative track-miles.

At 6:28 a.m. the Sector San Francisco command center received notification that a Mission City Patrol Boat crew had located the missing woman as she was paddling back into the entrance to San Rafael. Butler was found wearing her life jacket.

Butler told officers that she spent the night on the largest of the Marin Islands after being stranded by the tide.

The Mission City Patrol boat crew said they checked her with their thermal imager, but she did not give off a heat signature. The officers said her heat signature was likely masked because she was wet and wearing a wet-suit top.

Butler reported she did not see any of the search boats but did see the helicopter flying overhead. She did not attempt to make contact because she did not know she was reported missing. Emergency medical services personnel evaluated Butler as a precaution.

Butler was reportedly cold and tired but uninjured.

β€œThe Coast Guard wants to emphasize the importance of checking the tides and weather before going out on the bay due to the dynamic nature of the elements,” said Capt. Tony Ceraolo, the commander of Sector San Francisco.

Agencies involved in the search included crews from:

  • Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco MH-65 Dolphin helicopter
  • Coast Guard Station San Francisco
  • Coast Guard Station Vallejo
  • San Rafael Police Department Mission City Patrol boat

The Coast Guard recommends all water users leave a float plan with family or friends that details where they are going and when they plan to return to minimize search time in the event a person becomes missing.

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