WASHINGTON (WNEW/AP) — Rescuers have been searching for a missing kayaker on the Potomac River, but he has been found safe at home in Reston, Virginia.
Emergency responders have been searching for the kayaker since Friday afternoon when someone reported a kayaker in distress near Great Falls. A kayak and paddles were retrieved from the river about an hour later.
Montgomery County fire department spokesman Pete Piringer said Sunday that the boater apparently bailed out of his kayak, swam to shore and went home. Piringer says the kayaker had been oblivious to the search.
Person responsible for search efforts tells PD, he bailed out of boat & swam to shore, went home & oblivious to fact we were looking for him—
Pete Piringer (@mcfrsPIO) June 15, 2014
People are now using this experience as a chance to educate others. One fellow kayaker was concerned when the news broke, but now he’s angry saying the man is “at fault for not thinking a boat with no one in it wouldn’t raise alarms.”
He goes on to say that the Great Falls area in the Potomac River is a “hypersensitive” area when it comes to emergencies on the river.
“I just wish the paddler called search and rescue as soon as he lost his gear,” says another fellow paddler.
People in the area, as well as local officials, are urging those out in the water to take precautions, like putting your name and phone number on your gear.
Potomac kayaker "oblivious" to huge search could have helped rescuers by having 1 of these stickers on his boat. http://t.co/rN1KYDfLUt—
MD NRP (@MDNRPolice) June 15, 2014
After heavy rains in recent days, the Potomac River waters were high, and the current was strong.
Rescue crews from Montgomery County, Fairfax, Virginia, and the U.S. Park Police had been searching since Friday and had resumed searching Sunday.
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