Coast Guard: Kite surfer reported missing off Jersey Shore was on dry land all along

By AMANDA HOOVER | NJ Advance Media Group | Published: November 29, 2019

(Tribune News Service) — A kite surfer believed to be missing off the coast of Ocean City actually made it out of the water safe after experiencing minor equipment trouble and had no idea authorities were searching for him along the Jersey Shore, the Coast Guard announced Friday afternoon.

A person called to report a kite surfer seen drifting out to sea after falling off a board about 500-yards from Corson Inlet, near Ocean City, around 3:20 p.m., according to the Coast Guard. The tip prompted a search spanning 550 square miles and 16 hours, at one point turning up the man’s kite in the water Thursday evening.

The kite surfer contacted the Coast Guard around 10 a.m. Friday and said he had cut his kite free after it malfunctioned and paddled ashore on his board. He then went home.

The search involved boat and helicopter crews from New Jersey State Police and the Coast Guard as well as local police.

Ocean City Police noted that no missing person report had been filed and said there were no belongings or vehicles left behind that may have belonged to the surfer.

“This case highlights the effectiveness of the interagency search and rescue system,” Petty Officer 1st Class Alex Castonguay, a watchstander at the Sector Delaware Bay command center, said in a statement.

“Cases like this also illustrate the importance of labeling your kayaks, canoes, kite boards and other recreational marine vehicles, so that in the event they are lost, or you are missing, we can reach out to contact you or return it.”

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