Coast Guard seeks public’s help in identifying adrift kayak’s owner

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended a search Sunday afternoon for the owner of a kayak found adrift off Kamaole Beach Park in Kihei earlier in the day.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Amanda Levasseur said the search did not turn up any results, and with no reports of missing persons in the area, the Coast Guard called off the search.

Watchstanders from the Sector Honolulu command center received notification from the Maui Fire Department about the adrift kayak at 6:47 a.m. Sunday. A good Samaritan had found the kayak in the shore break off Kamaole Beach with a backpack inside containing various personal items.

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Maui launched to search the area. Coast Guard Sector Honolulu issued an urgent marine broadcast notice to mariners to keep a sharp lookout for signs of distress.

Levasseur said that the Coast Guard is not actively searching for the owner, but anyone with information that may help identify the owner should contact Sector Honolulu at 808-842-2600.

The Coast Guard recommends owners of watersports equipment write their name and phone number on their gear. The Coast Guard offers free “if found” decals to be placed in a visible location on small, human-powered watercraft through the Operation Paddle Smart program. The information on the sticker can allow response crews to quickly identify the vessel’s owner and aid search-and-rescue planners in determining the best course of action.

The stickers can be obtained for free at local harbormasters, through the Coast Guard Auxiliary, from the Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron offices and at select marine retail and supply stores. Anyone who loses kayaks, surfboards or safety equipment, such as life jackets, should report it to the Coast Guard to help reduce possible distress reports.