SAN DIEGO — The Coast Guard is searching for a possible missing person after an unmanned kayak and lifejacket were found off the coast of Oceanside, California, Saturday.
At approximately 1:20 a.m. Saturday, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Diego received a call from a fisherman at the Ocean Beach Pier that he had seen two amber-colored flares in the night sky. As he was making the report, he witnessed two additional amber flares.
A Coast Guard Sector San Diego MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew was launched and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Sea Otter was also diverted to aid in the search. The Jayhawk completed its search at 5:30 a.m. and the Sea Otter completed its search at 8:00 a.m. The search area extended 39 miles northwest of the location of the flare sighting. Both searches yielded negative results for any mariners in distress.
Another Jayhawk crew was launched from Sector San Diego at 8:15 a.m. to continue the search in the daylight. At 9:45 a.m., the crew spotted an unmanned red kayak approximately 16 miles west of Oceanside. A lifejacket was also found less than a mile northeast of the kayak.
The kayak appears to be in like-new condition and officials are unable to determine if it was manned, or if there is any correlation to the flare sighting.
A Jayhawk helicopter crew, An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Los Angeles, and 45-foot response boat-medium crew from Coast Guard Station San Diego are continuing to search for the possible missing kayaker.
Anyone with information is requested to contact the Joint Harbor Operations Center at 619-278-7031 or via VHF marine-band radio channel 16.