Coast Guard, local, state agencies continue search for kayaker

PORTLAND, Maine – The Coast Guard, local, and state agencies are continuing the search for a 59-year-old missing kayaker off the Portsmouth, NH, coast today.

Searching are: a 47-foot rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Portsmouth Harbor, a Jayhawk helicopter and Falcon jet crew from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Mass., and the Coast Guard Cutter Reliance from Kittery, Maine. Police and fire departments from Kittery, York, Maine, Kennebunkport, Maine, Ogunquit, Maine, Wells, Maine, New Castle, NH, Rye, NH, the New Hampshire Marine Patrol and the Maine Marine Patrol are also assisting in the search.

A yellow kayak was found by the helicopter crew around 7 a.m., today in the vicinity of Boon Island, Maine.

Hamilton Wood, from Contoocook, NH, was expected to return to Odiorne’s Point, NH, around 5:15 p.m., Friday, but has not been heard from since around 3 p.m., Friday. At 5:30 p.m., Station Portsmouth Harbor personnel found Wood’s car where he left it earlier at Odiorne’s Point. After unable to confirm Wood’s location, the Coast Guard immediately launched a 47-foot rescue boat crew.

Earlier Friday the station made contact with Wood after they received a report he may have been in distress. The station crew located the kayaker in the vicinity of Star Island where it was determined he was not in distress. Wood stated that he was traveling to Smuttynose Island for lunch and would be returning to Odiorne’s Point shortly thereafter. Station personnel set up a communications schedule with Wood.

“The Coast Guard is receiving tremendous support from state and local agencies to help find Mr. Wood,” said Chief Petty Officer Ray Mahannah, the command duty officer for Coast Guard Sector Northern New England. “Right now we are concentrating our search efforts in the area where the kayak was found in hopes of finding him.”

Editor’s Note: The intial release that states Wood is 61-years-old is incorrect. Wood is 59-years-old.

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