Coast Guard rescues overdue kayaker on Shell Island, Fla.

Southeastern Coast Guard NewsSHELL ISLAND, Fla. — A 49-year-old male kayaker was rescued by the Coast Guard after he became stranded on Shell Island, Sunday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg received a call from a man stating he had been kayaking with his brother-in-law near Pass-A-Grille Beach, Fla., but was separated and all phone calls were going straight to voicemail.

Coast Guard Station St. Petersburg launched a 25-foot Response Boat-Small crew as well as an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater and a boat crew from Eckerd College Search and Rescue.

Crewmembers from the helicopter located the person on Shell Island waving his shirt at them.

The Coast Guard small boat crew was vectored in and passed a heaving line to the person so they could pull him into the boat.

The man was taken to Tierre Verde Marina, Fla., to meet with his family.

Eckerd SAR will retreive the kayak.

No injuries were reported.

The Coast Guard wants to remind kayakers of some basic safety tips before their next outing.

  • File a float plan. This includes telling family or friends where you are going, what you will be doing and how long you expect to be gone.
  • Wear a life jacket. Coast Guard regulations require that all kayaks have a life jacket on board. There are life jackets designed specifically for paddlers. Buy one that fits well and always wear it while you paddle.
  • Be aware of weather conditions and water temperature. Prepare for changes in weather and always remember to dress for the water not the weather.
  • Stay hydrated. Bring plenty of water and food in case of emergenices.
  • Seek qualified instruction to learn proper paddling techniques, water safety and basic first aid.
  • Bring a VHF-FM radio. A cell phone is a good backup plan but will sometimes not get reception in certain areas.

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