Missing kayaker reports he’s fine

By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff
Posted May 15, 2009, at 8:32 p.m.

LUBEC, Maine — A kayaker from the Lubec area who was the focus of a U.S. Coast Guard search Thursday turned up Friday, safely ensconced in the New Brunswick hotel where he had decided to hole up because of the high winds that struck the region.

Richard Thurlow, 33, whose hometown was not available Friday, checked in with Canadian Customs on Wednesday after making the roughly 10-mile trip from Lubec in his red kayak, the Coast Guard reported on Thursday.

Thurlow was scheduled to return to Maine by 11 a.m. Thursday but did not arrive as expected. That prompted a family member to report him missing, Ken Stuart, a Coast Guard search and rescue specialist at Coast Guard Sector Northern New England’s South Portland facility, said Friday.

“He was very surprised [to learn he had been reported missing],” Stuart said of Thurlow.

“He actually didn’t know that the Coast Guard was looking for him until he read it in a newspaper,” Stuart said, noting that the overdue boater did not have a cellular telephone or a radio with him during the excursion.

Stuart said Thurlow contacted the Coast Guard on Friday to say he had decided to spend another night on Grand Manan because of the bad weather. The National Weather Service reported high winds and gale-force gusts of more than 60 mph on Thursday.

In addition to a vessel based in Eastport, the Coast Guard sent an HU-25 Falcon jet based in Cape Cod to comb the waters between Lubec and Grand Manan on Thursday, Stuart said. He said that among the Coast Guard’s concerns were cold water temperatures. With water at about 47 degrees, Thurlow would have been at risk for such medical emergencies as hypothermia had his kayak capsized.

Stuart said Friday that the boater planned to return to Maine in the next day or so.

dgagnon@bangordailynews.net

990-8189

http://bangordailynews.com/2009/05/15/news/missing-kayaker-reports-hersquos-fine/ printed on September 22, 2014