Crissy Field kite surfer ensures quick resolve to search and rescue case

SAN FRANCISCO – The Coast Guard quickly resolved a search and rescue case today off of Crissy Field thanks to the preemptive efforts of a distressed kite surfer.

At approximately 3:30 p.m. today, the Coast Guard received a report from a pedestrian on the Golden Gate Bridge of a kite surfer in distress off of Crissy Field. The Coast Guard immediately launched assets from Station Golden Gate and San Francisco Police Department Marine Unit. Once arriving on scene, the Marine Unit witnessed the distressed kite surfer make it safely ashore.

Minutes after the kite surfer made it back ashore, the Coast Guard received a report from a pedestrian at Fort Point of an unmanned surf board off of Fort Point. The Coast Guard directed the asset from Station Golden Gate to the scene. Once on scene, the crewmembers recovered a kite board with the name and contact numbers of the owner.

Once passing that information to the Sector San Francisco Command Center, watchstanders were able to contact the owner and confirm that he was the distressed kite surfer originally reported by the pedestrian on the Golden Gate Bridge.

Thanks solely to the efforts of the kite surfer to mark his equipment with his name and phone number, the Coast Guard was able to quickly resolve this search and rescue case, ensuring assets were not expended on an unnecessary search and saving tax payers possibly thousands of dollars on fuel and equipment costs.

In early 2010, the Coast Guard launched a new program entitled Paddle Smart. Focused on small craft owners, a small self-applied, weather-proof sticker has been created to return property, reduce the number of Coast Guard resources spent on unnecessary search and rescue cases, and foster voluntary small craft owner assistance.

Each sticker provides room for the small craft owner to list his or her name, phone number, and cell phone number in case their craft is located without its operator. Greatly assisting in the initial investigation of a possible search and rescue case.

More information concerning Paddle Smart can be found here.

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