WESTPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — Westport Police Department received a 911 call on Saturday around 11:55 a.m. from a concerned citizen regarding a kayaker possibly in distress. The caller said that she observed a yellow kayak in the water and a person appeared to be clinging to it. The kayak was spotted in the water off of Soundview Avenue.
Officers say that they were immediately dispatched to the area. The first officer at the scene reported that he had found a yellow kayak washed up on the beach. The officer was concerned that the kayak’s operator was still in Long Island Sound and activated the Westport Police Marine Unit. The United States Coast Guard and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) were also notified.
The Coast Guard said that they would be sending vessels to assist with the search.
The Westport Police Marine Unit arrived first and began checking the waters. Shortly after their search began, an officer station on Soundview Avenue was approached by a male who said that the kayak that had washed up on the beach was his. The person explained that he and a family member in a separate kayak launched in Southport and had planned to boat to Westport. According to the kayaker, shortly after he got underway, he was thrown from the kayak due to the extremely choppy water. He said he was able to hold onto the kayak’s paddle and used it to assist him in getting back to shore. He said he came ashore at the Sherwood Island State Park.
Although the kayaker had been in the water for an extended period of time, officials say he appeared to be uninjured. He declined medical attention.
Police say the kayaker was wearing a personal flotation device and they believe it likely played a big part in this positive outcome.