Search suspended for owner of adrift kayak that prompted multi agency search off Oahu

14th Coast Guard District NewsHONOLULU – The Coast Guard, Navy and Honolulu Fire Department suspend the search for a possible missing kayaker near Ka’a’awa, Oahu Friday.

Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center personnel received a call at 7:30 a.m. from the owner of the eight-foot blue kayak that had drifted approximately one mile off Kualoa Beach Park Thursday.

At 5:30 p.m. Thursday, local residents contacted the fire department and reported an eight-foot blue kayak adrift approximately one mile off Kualoa Beach Park. The residents paddled out and conducted a search of the vessel. Found aboard was an empty dive bag, a dumbbell weight attached to a 20-foot line tied off to the kayak and a double-bladed paddle.

At 5:40 p.m. the fire department contacted the Coast Guard. An Air Station Barbers Point based MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter crew and the Honolulu based Coast Guard Cutter Ahi crew were launched and joined the fire department helicopter, rescue boat and shoreline rescue crews already searching. A Navy P-3 Orion airplane crew also joined the search.

“In an effort to reduce the number of man hours spent searching for individuals not in distress, we highly recommend all mariners to use a Paddle Smart sticker and mark their personal watercraft with their contact information,” said Cmdr. Steven Wheeler, search and rescue mission coordinator for Coast Guard Sector Honolulu. “This will allow valuable resources to be ready for actual search and rescue cases.”

Every year, countless man hours and tax payer dollars go to search and rescue missions where someone is not in danger. Coast Guard is emphasizing Paddle Smart, which is a program that provides free, waterproof, reflective, self-adhesive stickers for owners to affix identification and contact information to small, human powered (unregistered) watercraft.

The goal of Paddle Smart is to save lives and taxpayer dollars. The stickers can be obtained free at all local harbormasters, through the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and from Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron offices; stickers will also be available at select marine retail and supply stores.

For more Paddle Smart information, please read the Operation Paddle Smart story: Operation Paddle Smart: A sticker could save your life


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