UPDATE: Owner of Unmanned Kayak Accounted For

June 19, 2014, 3:30 PM HST · Updated June 19, 10:12 PM
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The Coast Guard is searching for a possible missing kayaker approximately a quarter of a mile offshore from Mala Wharf, Maui, June 19, 2014. 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 any unnecessary searches. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The Coast Guard is searching for a possible missing kayaker approximately a quarter of a mile offshore from Mala Wharf, Maui, June 19, 2014. 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 any unnecessary searches. (US Coast Guard photo)

By Wendy Osher

(Update: 8:42 p.m. 6/19/14)

The owner of a missing kayak has contacted the Coast Guard and has claimed the vessel as his own.

Coast Guard officials say the owner saw the local news reporting the discovery of the kayak, and said that the wind possibly carried it away from his sailing vessel moored at Māla Wharf in West Maui.

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The Coast Guard says the kayaker was never in distress.

The agency’s command center received a report from the operator of the dive boat, Grad School, stating that the blue kayak was recovered floating adrift approximately a quarter of a mile offshore from Māla Wharf.

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

(Original post: 6/19/14)

The US Coast Guard is seeking the public’s help in identifying the owner of an unmanned kayak found floating adrift in waters about a quarter mile offshore from Māla Wharf in West Maui today.

The operator of the dive boat, Grad School, recovered the blue kayak adrift in the area, but did not see any signs of distress, or marine growth on the kayak, Coast Guard officials said.

The kayak is described as 14-feet in length, with the words “Ocean kayak,” written on the vessel, and other yellow markings.

Crews from the Coast Guard Station on Maui launched a 47-foot motor lifeboat crew to respond to the area. They are being assisted by an engine crew from the Maui Fire Department.

The Coast Guard is asking mariners to keep a sharp eye out for anyone possibly in distress.

The agency took the opportunity to provide information on its Operation Paddle Smart Program that offers free “If Found” decals that can be placed on small, human-powered watercraft.

The labels include contact information so that authorities can quickly account for owners and prevent any unnecessary searches.

“The stickers can be obtained for free at local harbormasters, through the Coast Guard Auxiliary, from Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron offices and at select marine retail and supply stores,” said Coast Guard representatives in an agency press release.

Anyone with information that can help identify the owner of the kayak is asked to contact the US Coast Guard Sector Honolulu at (808) 842-2600.

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