Coast Guard recovers body of missing kayaker

USCG File Photo

MENDOCINO, Calif. – The Coast Guard with help from the Mendocino Fire Department recovered the body of a missing kayaker at 8:45 p.m., after a 15-hour search today.

On Tuesday evening at 5:38 p.m., the Coast Guard received a call from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reporting an overdue kayaker just south of Cape Mendocino near the Big River inlet.

The kayaker, a 50-year-old male, was reported missing by his wife when he did not return at the specified meeting time. A 47-foot motor lifeboat from Coast Guard Station Noyo River and an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Humboldt Bay were launched to conduct the search. Mendocino Fire and Sheriff’s resources also conducted a shore-side search. Over 200 square miles of search area were covered through the night.

This morning a C-130 Hercules aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento, along with a 47-foot motor lifeboat from Coast Guard Station Bodega Bay were launched to supplement the search efforts. At 8:24 a.m., a helicopter crew spotted a body, which matched the description of the kayaker, approximately 10 yards from a kayak near the Big River inlet. The body was recovered by Mendocino Fire Department Jet Ski crews and was transferred to a Coast Guard motor lifeboat. The man was taken to Station Noyo River where he was transferred to a county coroner.

The Coast Guard reminds all those on or near the water that the waters and shoreline of Northern California are extremely rugged and hazardous. The Coast Guard recommends that anyone planning to be on the waters have, not only a personal flotation device, but multiple signaling devices including a waterproof handheld VHF radio that can be used to contact the Coast Guard. Mariners and boaters alike are reminded to check current weather and marine forecasts, file a float plan with a friend or family member and go out with someone whenever possible.

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