Coast Guard searches for owner of unmanned kayak

Northeast Atlantic Coast Guard NewsBOSTON — The Coast Guard searched for the owner of an unmanned kayak near Hodgkins Cove, Mass., Thursday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Gloucester, Mass., were notified of an unmanned kayak along the surf line in Hodgkins Cove at 8 a.m. Thursday.

A Coast Guard Station Gloucester 25-foot response boat crew searched for any sign of the kayaker in the water as well as a search of the shoreline by foot.

With no means to identify the the kayak’s owner and no new information yielded by combined search efforts, the Coast Guard suspended the search at 11 a.m.

“These situations are very frustrating,” said Lt. Casey Goranson, command duty officer at Coast Guard Sector Boston. “Our goal is to verify the safety of the last operator and return the property to the owner, but we just don’t have enough to go off of to make that happen.”

Cases involving unmanned and unmarked small vessels result in searches which commit numerous Coast Guard assets and personnel to significant efforts to verify the safety of the occupants.

During the summer of 2012, the Coast Guard conducted many searches in which vessel owners were unable to be identified and whose vessels could not be returned.

Placing contact information on kayaks, dinghies, and other small vessels enables the Coast Guard to expeditiously verify owner safety and ensure the return of the vessel if it is found unmanned at sea. Paddle smart stickers may be obtained through local Coast Guard Auxiliary flotillas.

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