At 3:12 p.m. on Saturday, Coast Guard Sector New York command center watch standers received a call from citywide 911 that three kayaks, each with one person on board, had all overturned in Raritan Bay. A nearby good Samaritan had picked up two of the kayakers from the water, but the third was still unaccounted for. None of them were wearing life jackets.
Within minutes of receiving the call, Coast Guard Station Sandy Hook launched a response boat that arrived on scene and began searching with partner agencies for the third kayaker. Shortly after, an MH-65 helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City joined the search. They were later joined by the Coast Guard Cutter Shrike, who searched through the night. An Air Station Cape Cod MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter conducted the final first-light search.
“Suspending a search is never an easy decision to make,” said Capt. Jason Tama, commander of Coast Guard Sector New York. “We offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends who have been impacted by this tragic incident.”
The Coast Guard utilized three boat crews and three helicopter crews in addition to multiple NYPD and FDNY assets in the search.
Involved in the search were:
- Coast Guard Sector New York
- Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City
- Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod
- Coast Guard Cutter Shrike
- Coast Guard Station Sandy Hook
- New York Police Department Aviation
- New York Police Department Harbor Rescue
- New York Police Department Dive Teams
- New York Fire Department Marine Rescue
The Coast Guard search is suspended pending the development of new information.