MANCHESTER — A lifejacket saved a kayaker who floated in 4-foot seas for about three hours before being found off House Island, on the outskirts of Manchester Harbor, the Coast Guard said.
A good Samaritan reported seeing an overturned orange kayak near Salem Channel to the Coast Guard in Boston at 2:24 p.m. Shortly after, the wife of the missing kayaker called.
The Beverly Harbormaster rescue crew found the kayaker wearing a life jacket after about an hour search. He had been floating for about three hours.
Two rescue boat crews from Coast Guard Station Gloucester and crews from the Salem Harbormaster also launched. They found the kayak before the kayaker, and it contained a dry holding a set of keys and a T-shirt.
"A life jacket really saved this man's life," said Ensign Isabella Stoyka, the duty public affairs officer for Sector Boston. "If his kayak was labeled, we may have found him sooner."
The water temperature was 66 degrees and winds were about 20 knots, the Coast Guard said.
If you are going out on your kayak, the Coast Guard recommends you check the weather, tell someone where you are going and when you will be back, wear a lifejacket, have a sound-making device, and label your kayak. If you are paddling at night, make sure you have a light.
The Coast Guard offers a free "If Found" sticker to owners of kayaks, canoes, standup paddleboards, and other unregistered watercraft to help reduce the number of unnecessary search and rescue cases. Stickers are weatherproof, reflective, and provide room for the vessel owner's name and two phone numbers, written in waterproof marker.
The "If Found" stickers are available at local harbormaster offices, marinas and any place that has a connection to kayaks so that people can easily display their contact information should their kayak get lost.
Andrea Holbrook may be contacted at 978-675-2713, or firstname.lastname@example.org