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Kayakers With A Plan*

Story by U.S. Coast Guard,
17th District Public Affairs

KODIAK, AK – Four kayakers, previously reported overdue, were located safe in Thumb Cove on the east side of Resurrection Bay this afternoon by the tour boat Coastal Explorer.  Jimmy Ahern, of NakNek, Mason Hill, Robby Hilland Duke Tibbetts of Anchorage were waiting for the wind to subside before attempting to return to port.

Coast Guard aircraft and boats scoured Resurrection Bay Sunday evening and early today searching for the four people reported overdue Sunday evening from a trip to Bear Glacier.  The group left a float plan with a friend saying they would leave Lowell Point, near Seward, Friday morning then paddle to Bear Glacier to return early Sunday afternoon.  The friend reported the group overdue to the Coast Guard at 8:50 p.m. after they hadn’t returned.

The group has outdoor experience, but minimal kayaking experience.  The group has camping gear and enough supplies to last the extra days.  According to the Alaska Division of Parks and Boating Safety, Kayakers are only required to carry a Coast Guard approved life jacket onboard, if the operator is under the age of 13 then the jacket must be worn.  If the kayakers are operating at night then they must have a night signaling device such as a waterproof flashlight.

The Coast Guard would like to remind all boaters that having the right equipment on board your vessel, sometimes in excess of the minimum requirements, could keep minor trouble from becoming a fight for survival.  Kayakers should be especially careful when operating in Alaska’s unpredictable waters.

The Coast Guard suggests that in addition to a lifejacket, Kayakers should file a float plan with a family member, friend or marina operator before leaving on their trip.  It is also suggested that you carry a communication device like a radio or cell phone (if you are within its operating range) so you can call for help.  You can also call the person with your float plan and make changes if you are unable to make it back at your scheduled time so that costly searches can be avoided.

Safety is simple when you have a plan™
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