BOSTON — A kayaker who went missing Tuesday night was found paddling in Mackerel Cove near Swan’s Island, Maine at about 8 a.m. Wednesday.
When the Coast Guard was notified by a good Samaritan, a 47-foot Motor Life boat crew from Coast Guard Station Southwest Harbor launched and escorted the kayaker, 18-year-old Jackson Day, ashore.
There, he was met by officials from Hancock County Police Department who reported he was in good condition after spending the night on Round Island, approximately one mile west of his departure point.
Day was initially reported missing Tuesday evening by his mother after he failed to return from his kayak trip. The Coast Guard searched throughout the night using two 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crews from Coast Guard Station Southwest Harbor, and an aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod. They were joined by the Maine Marine Patrol, local harbormasters, and several good Samaritans.
Day said the winds picked up when he got to the islands Tuesday, so he paddled to Round Island where he spent the night. On Wednesday morning, he began paddling back to Swan’s Island.
“This is a very favorable outcome considering all of the circumstances,” said Capt. Michael Baroody, commander, Coast Guard Sector Northern New England. “The low visibility, gusting winds, and the lack of information on his whereabouts made this case incredibly difficult – furthermore, he was discovered without a lifejacket.”
He said Day is incredibly fortunate to be alive, and that the ocean is generally an unforgiving environment where lack of preparation and means of communication can lead to disastrous outcomes.
The air temperature dipped to 57 degrees Tuesday night with the water temperature below 60.
The Coast Guard strongly recommends mariners check the weather forecast and file a float plan before embarking on a voyage. During the voyage, life jackets should be worn and not stowed, and the vessel should have a reliable means of communication such as a VHF radio. Small craft like kayaks and canoes should be marked with contact information in the event they are found adrift.