The U.S. Coast Guard assisted two 16-year-old kayakers found paddling in the ocean near Bodega Bay without life jackets amid strong winds Saturday morning.
At about 9 a.m., the Coast Guard Sector San Francisco received a report from a concerned citizen, who saw two teenagers in an inflatable kayak, just off of Doran Beach near Bodega Bay.
The citizen told the Coast Guard that the two teens had paddled offshore and then went out of sight. Local boaters were advised via the issuance of an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast, to be on the lookout and assist the kayakers if needed, according to Coast Guard officials.
Coast Guard Station Bodega Bay launched a rescue boat to search for the teens. The crew on board the rescue boat located the two kayakers and noticed that neither of them had life jackets.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Steven Mcdougal, coxswain aboard the rescue boat, said he and the crew felt:
“… there was a potential risk of them capsizing in 20 knot winds and without life jackets the situation could have been detrimental.”
The Coast Guard crew brought the two kayakers aboard their rescue vessel and motored them to safety.
Coast Guard Sector San Francisco Cmdr. Capt. Greg Stump said:
“The sea is a very unforgiving environment, and we often see tragedies that begin with poor decisions. Losing situational awareness while not having the proper life saving equipment can quickly escalate to a dangerous and deadly situation.”
Mariners are advised to always have lifejackets aboard their vessel and stay abreast of changing weather while on the water, especially the open ocean.
— Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News