Coast Guard rescues kayaker, life jacket helps save life

1st Coast Guard District NewsBOSTON — A Maine-based Coast Guard boatcrew rescued a 62-year-old kayaker from the 60-degree water of the Herrington River near Five Islands in Maine, Sunday.

The Coast Guard received a call around 8 p.m., from a friend of the kayaker who was watching him from shore when she lost sight of him.

A 25-foot Response Boat-Small crew from Coast Guard Station Jonesport and an MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod were dispatched to search for the kayaker.

After searching for approximately two hours, the boatcrew, using night vision goggles, located the man wearing a life jacket and clinging to the kayak. The boatcrew took the man to the Coast Guard station where they were met by EMS who transported the man to a local hospital for evaluation.

“Because he was wearing his life jacket our crews were able locate him faster, and it also helped him conserve energy so he could stay with his kayak,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Joaquin Layola, a watchstander at the First Coast Guard District Command Center in Boston. “This case really highlights how wearing a life jacket can save your life.”

In 2010, between 70 and 80 percent of all fatal boating accident victims drowned. Eighty-five to 90 percent of those who drowned were not wearing their life jackets.

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