Coast Guard calls off search for possible missing kayaker

Photo: U.S. Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard has called off the search for a possible missing kayaker.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center received a call from the operator of the dive boat, Grad School, stating he recovered an adrift blue kayak approximately a quarter-mile offshore from Mala Wharf, Maui.

Search crews from the U.S. Coast Guard and Maui Fire Dept. were dispatched, but later discovered the kayak’s owner was never in distress.

Officials say he contacted the Coast Guard after he saw the local news reporting the kayak was found and said that the wind possibly carried it away from his sailing vessel, which was moored at the wharf.

The Coast Guard advises the public to register and label all watercraft and equipment with contact information in order to quickly account for owners and prevent unnecessary searches.

Through the Operation Paddle Smart program, the Coast Guard offers a free “If Found” decal, available at local harbormasters, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, from Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron offices and at select marine retail and supply stores.

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