Responders searching for owner of paddle board off Maui Napali Coast

Coast Guard 29-foot Response Boat-Small file photo

Coast Guard 29-foot Response Boat-Small file photo

HONOLULU — Responders from the Coast Guard and Maui Police Department are searching for the owner of a blue and white paddle board located off Maui’s Napali Coast, Tuesday.

“Anyone with information about the owner of the board or how it came to be offshore is asked to contact us at 808-842-2600,” said Ensign Seth Gross, command duty officer, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu. “We don’t know if the board broke free and drifted or if this was a dawn patrol gone wrong. We’re working with our partners to saturate the area and locate anyone in distress.”

The paddleboard is 9-foot 8-inches, blue and white from Naish Surfboards with an unfurled leash and ankle strap. Responders are searching the area, with additional resources en route.

At 7:26 a.m. watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received a report from a good Samaritan surfer of the paddleboard adrift near S Turn north of Blackrock Beach. A 29-foot Response Boat-Small and crew launched from Coast Guard Station Maui to respond. The good Samaritan provided photos and remained with the board until the RB-S crew arrived.

A MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew returning to Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point from another mission off Kaneohe Bay was directed to refuel and divert to Maui for the search.

Weather in the nearshore area is reported as north-northwest swell of 3 feet at 16 seconds with waves to 5 feet, increasing to 10 to 15 feet offshore.

The Coast Guard reminds waterway users to label or register all gear, watercraft, and vessels to assist responders in identifying owners, making contact and potentially alleviating long searches, and helping to reunite people with their equipment and watercraft. A name and phone numbers are all it takes and a variety of labels, permanent marker, and stickers make this easy.

“Providing a contact number give us a place to start and often allows us to determine if the owner is in distress, loaned or lost the equipment and can significantly shorten the amount of time spent searching,” said Gross. “We recognize people don’t want to permanently mar the surface of a board or other gear with markings and that’s why the paddlesmart stickers or other tags are great. They can be removed and replaced. Ultimately it also helps protect your investment helping us find you to return your gear.”

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