Coast Guard finds kayaker, stresses importance of life jackets

 HOUSTON – The Coast Guard located a kayaker in the water near Surfside, Texas, this afternoon.

Coast Guard Station Freeport received a call at 1 p.m. reporting a person in the water and immediately dispatched a rescue boat.

The boat crew spotted the man floating next to a kayak. The crew immediately began cardiopulmonary resuscitation and transported the victim to Station Freeport, where he was taken by Life Flight to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.

The kayaker, who was not wearing a life jacket, was unresponsive to attempts to resuscitate him.

His condition is unknown at this time.

The Coast Guard reminds boaters to always wear their life jackets and to ensure that all required safety equipment is onboard their vessel and in good, working order.

During 2005 in Texas, 85 percent of boaters and paddlers who drowned were not wearing life jackets.

  • wear Coast Guard approved life jackets
  • be aware of weather and water conditions
  • never boat or paddle alone
  • file a float plan to let others know where you are going, and make sure they know what to do and who to call in case of an emergency.
  • be constantly aware of other vessels in the immediate area
  • be cautious – do not exceed your ability to handle your vessel
  • carry a VHF radio – these radios allow for any boater in your vicinity to hear your call and the signal can be easily traced by the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard strongly recommends that all boaters and paddlers take every opportunity to take a recreational boating safety course to enhance their navigational skills. Courses are offered through their respective state, with the Coast Guard Auxiliary or the U.S. Power Squadrons, both of which can be accessed through http://uscgaux.org/ or http://usps.org/ . Additional course information is available through the BOAT/U.S. foundation at 1-800-336-BOAT.

For additional safe boating tips, boaters can access the Coast Guard’s Boating Safety website.

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