Coast Guard responds to adrift, rescues stranded kayakers on Blake Island, Wash

Members from Coast Guard Station Seattle grab ahold of a red kayak that had been found unmanned and adrift in the vicinity of Faunteroy and Vashon Island, Wash., March 31, 2019. The kayak belonged to a group of people who had been camping on Blake Island and woke up Sunday morning to their five kayaks missing. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel Caraballo.

Members from Coast Guard Station Seattle grab ahold of a red kayak that had been found unmanned and adrift in the vicinity of Faunteroy and Vashon Island, Wash., March 31, 2019. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel Caraballo.

SEATTLE — A Coast Guard boat crew responded to a report of an unmanned adrift kayak and found that it belonged to a group of six kayakers stranded on Blake Island, Wash., Sunday.

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Seattle safely transported all six people and their dog from Blake Island back to a pier in Manchester, as well as recovered two of their five missing kayaks.

At 8:07 a.m., Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound watchstanders received a report from the crew of the Washington State Ferry Chelan of an unmanned and adrift kayak. The ferry crew spotted the red kayak while pulling in to the Fauntleroy terminal.

The Station Seattle boat crew launched in response, conducted a search for the reported kayak and located it in the vicinity of Faunteroy and Vashon Island.

Around the same time, one of the kayak owners had contacted the watchstanders at Coast Guard 13th District Command Center. They reported that they had been camping on Blake Island and when they woke up all five of their kayaks were gone. District personnel connected them to the Sector Puget Sound staff and their red kayak matched the description of one of their missing craft.

Station Seattle grabbed the kayak, headed toward the campers and found a second one of their kayaks while en route.

A tug crew in the area found two more of the kayaks, but one kayak remains missing. The missing kayak is reported as 12-foot fiberglass white kayak with black trim and a dolphin on the side. If anyone sees a kayak matching this description, please contact Sector Puget Sound personnel at 206-217-6001.

This response also highlights the importance that mariners properly secure and label their vessels, as well as file a float plan. Had the owner been unable to call, the search would have continued and they could still be stranded.

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