Coast Guard calls on paddlers to attach ID sticker

HARLINGEN — An abandoned kayak that led to a frantic two-hour air search for the owner near Corpus Christi last week has prompted the U.S. Coast Guard to repeat its plea for paddle-sport enthusiasts to attach a vessel identification sticker to their kayak, canoe or row boat.

The lost kayak that washed ashore loaded with fishing gear and no paddler prompted a Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew to search for about two hours Thursday for a potential missing kayaker.

The search in the vicinity of the JFK Causeway near Corpus Christi was called off after Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi watchstanders received a call confirming that the kayak’s owner had reported the kayak missing earlier that morning. The kayak apparently was stolen and later abandoned.

“When used effectively, the sticker can help save lives, recover missing property, and reduce resources expended on non-emergency SAR (search-and-rescue) activities related to deploying limited resources on someone who is not in danger,” said Lt. Dave Froning, a marine inspector at Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi.

The waterproof orange stickers are available at local marinas, boat shows and retail stores.