Missing kayakers found partying on Moss Landing sailboat

Published 10:14 pm Saturday, August 25, 2018

Washington Police and Fire Services, with Bunyan Fire Department, were called out onto the Pamlico River on Saturday night to search for two missing kayakers —who were located on a sailboat at Moss Landing.

The couple, described as being in their early 30s, rented kayaks from Inner Banks Outfitters in Washington on Saturday morning. According to staff, the couple left on two kayaks, along with two dogs, set out for a full day’s rental. The dogs were wearing PFDs; their owners had them with their kayaks.

According to staff, they were told to be back with the kayaks before dark, when they had not returned by 8:30 p.m., the employees became concerned.

Washington Police and Fire Services launched its boat at the Havens Gardens ramp, as did Bunyan Fire Department.

When Washington Fire Department Chief RM Flowers received a phone call back from the missing man, there was much relief.

“We’ve got about $3 million in equipment out there looking for you right now,” he said.

Speaking in an interview on Monday, Washington Fire Department Chief Robbie Rose stressed the importance of making, and sticking to, a plan whenever going out on the water.

“Anytime someone is out on the water, they ought to have some kind of informal float plan,” Rose said. “It’s basically an accountability of where you’re going to be and when someone expects you to be back. That way, there’s some thread of accountability there, so if you are not back at a particular time, people will get concerned, but have an idea of where you’re at as well.”

While the search for the misplaced kayakers had a happy ending, with no fatalities and no one injured, Rose says that any time there is someone reported missing on the water, his department takes it seriously.

“We treat it with the highest importance to respond and look for people that are missing,” Rose said. “So when people decide to stay out after dark and not report back in at the normal time, people are going to get concerned and we’re going to go into the mode of looking for them. That water can be unforgiving if people aren’t using the precautions they should be when they’re out there.”