Missing Kayaker Reported Safe on Land

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (D5 Public Affairs) The Coast Guard ended its search for an overdue kayaker near Albemarle Sound, N.C., after receiving notification from his family at 3:20 a.m. today that he was safe on land.

Curtis Cooper, a 19-year-old resident of Richmond, Va., fell out of his kayak Monday.

Search crews from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., and Station Elizabeth City searched the area and located an overturned kayak at 5:33 p.m., but did not locate Cooper.

He attempted without success to signal the Coast Guard helicopter which passed overhead. He was not wearing a life vest or carrying any signaling equipment.

Cooper then swam to the north side of Albemarle Sound, walked along the beach to a nearby house, and dialed 911.

The Coast Guard strongly encourages boaters to:

  • Always wear their life vests while on the water.
  • Always have working signaling devices such as glowsticks, flashlights, mirrors, or flares.
  • File a detailed float plan with friends, family, or a local marina including destination, how many people aboard, and estimated time of arrival.
  • Check weather conditions.

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