Coast Guard seeks public’s help finding boat owner

HONOLULU – The Coast Guard is requesting assistance in locating the owner of an eight-foot Walker Bay dinghy found Wednesday at 4 p.m. in Maunalua Bay, east of Diamond Head.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received notification from the Honolulu Police Department that a fishing vessel had recovered an unmanned white dinghy with orange seats. A canoe paddle, a single slipper, a bottle of water, and some trash were found aboard. The dinghy’s only marking was a Walker Bay label on the left side. The fishing vessel monitored the immediate area and, seeing no signs of distress, took the dinghy into Koko Head Marine in Hawaii Kai.

The Coast Guard is asking mariners to keep a sharp eye out for anyone possibly in distress. Anyone with information that may help identify the owner of the dinghy is asked to contact the Sector Honolulu Command Center at (808) 842-2600.

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

Through the Operation Paddle Smart program, the Coast Guard offers a free “If Found” decal to be placed in a visible location on watercraft. The information on the sticker can allow response entities to quickly identify the vessel’s owner and aid in search and rescue planners in determining the best course of action. The stickers can be obtained for free 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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