Unmanned kayak prompts search of Lamoine cove

Posted June 25, 2013, at 4:10 p.m.

LAMOINE, Maine – A kayak found floating Tuesday in Kilkenny Cove that prompted a search by local fire officials and the Coast Guard that came up empty, according to officials.

The Coast Guard is hoping to find who owns the kayak.

According to a press release from the Coast Guard, they received a report after 11 a.m. that a red Otter model kayak manufactured by Old Town Canoe had beached in Lamoine with the incoming tide in Kilkenny Cove, off Frenchman Bay. They indicated that a towel, life jacket, throwable flotation device and pair of shoes were found inside the kayak, which did not have any marks of owner identification.

A 25-foot rescue boat from the Coast Guard station in Southwest Harbor and a Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod searched the area for signs of distress. The Lamoine Fire Department assisted them.

“With personal items inside the kayak, our concern that someone may be in trouble was initially at a heightened level,” said Lt. Nick Barrow, supervisor of the Search and Rescue command center in Portland, said in the statement. “After nearly three hours of searching and a more thorough look at the kayak and contents, we no longer believe someone is in danger, however, finding an owner would help us confirm that, as well as allow for the owner to retrieve their property.”

Boats found floating and untethered often result in searches in case someone may have fallen out.

In the past three days, the Coast Guard has responded to six reports in Maine of unmanned paddle craft adrift or washed ashore, Coast Guard officials said. Last year, the Coast Guard in Maine and New Hampshire responded to 55 reports of unmanned paddle craft adrift or washed ashore.

The owners of kayaks, canoes and other unregistered paddle craft are strongly encouraged to mark their craft with a name and multiple phone numbers in a visible location.

“Quickly finding an owner can help search and rescue personnel confirm whether or not the craft may have been in use at the time, and can help avoid unnecessary searches,” Coast Guard officials said in the release.

The Coast Guard requests that anyone with information concerning this kayak or the owner to call the Coast Guard at 767-0303.

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