Missing Potomac kayaker who triggered search turns up safe at home

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 16, 2014 1:11 PM

(Reuters) - A kayaker who had been presumed missing on the Potomac River turned up safe at home after triggering a lengthy search by boats, a helicopter and scores of rescuers, Maryland police said.

The search began about 2 p.m. on Friday after a 911 call reported a man struggling in the river near Washington, DC. Emergency responders found an overturned kayak, a paddle and a flotation device.

The search for the missing kayaker grew over the weekend to include 50 people, nine boats and a helicopter equipped with thermal imaging technology, police said late on Sunday.

Montgomery County police circulated a photograph of the kayaker's gear on social media sites, where it was identified as belonging to a Reston, Virginia, man.

Officers attempted to contact the kayaker on Saturday at his home, according to police. They confirmed he was safe on Sunday.

The man, who police declined to identify, said he experienced trouble and had to swim to shore, abandoning his boat and gear, according to a police statement.

He did not realize that his boat had been recovered and that he was the subject of a search.

Last month, a 22-year-old Virginia man went missing while kayaking near the same spot. His body was recovered three weeks later.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Dan Grebler)