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  #1  
Old 02-19-2008, 01:23 PM
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Default Kayaker Missing Port Aransas Texas

Kayaker missing at Port Aransas
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Austin kayaker missing in Gulf waters
By Israel Saenz
Originally published 03:50 a.m., February 18, 2008

PORT ARANSAS UPDATE: Coast Guard was back out at first light Monday. As of 8 a.m., Stafford has not been found.

Coast Guard officials called off their search Sunday evening for a 20-year-old Austin man who went missing that morning after his kayak overturned off Port Aransas beach.
Coast Guard and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officers spent Sunday searching for Stephen Stafford, who went missing around 6 a.m. Sunday. Coast Guard officials said Stafford and a friend were on kayaks off the beach when both mens' vessels overturned.
Stafford's friend made it to shore and heard Stafford struggling, officials said. He then had a passerby call for help. The Coast Guard sent out two search vessels and a helicopter. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department also deployed a search vessel.
Authorities will resume the search today, and classify it as a search and rescue mission.
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  #2  
Old 02-19-2008, 01:24 PM
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Default Re: Kayaker Missing Port Aransas Texas

Search ends for Missing Kayaker


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By David Kassabian
Originally published 03:13 a.m., February 19, 2008


Michelle Christenson/Caller-Times A Coast Guard
helicopter flies near the beach in Port Aransas on
Monday morning during a search for a missing kayaker.
Coast Guard officials and Texas Parks and Wildlife
Department officers spent Sunday and much of
Monday searching for Stephen Stafford, 20, of Austin.

Coast Guard rescuers called off the search Monday for a 20-year-old Austin man who capsized while kayaking with another man near the Port Aransas jetties.
Stephen Stafford was with a friend about 6 a.m. Sunday when heavy waves capsized their kayaks, said Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Ben Sparacin. Stafford's friend was able to stay above water, but the 20-year-old never surfaced.
The men were not far from shore, and rescuers were dispatched minutes after the friend called passersby on shore for help, Sparacin said. The Coast Guard sent two vessels and a helicopter looking for Stafford on Sunday, and a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department boat joined in before the search was called off at nightfall.
An airplane and helicopter started looking again Monday morning until about 1:30 p.m. when the effort was called off.
"At this point, the chances for survival are not good," Sparacin said. "We saturated the search area pretty heavily all day yesterday and this morning without any sign of him."
Rescuers focused on the area near the beach and Port Aransas jetties on Sunday, and spread out south on the coastline toward Packery Channel following the current.
High winds and rough waves prevented authorities from sending out boats on Monday.
Stafford was not wearing a life jacket, and his kayak has not been found.
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  #3  
Old 02-19-2008, 03:16 PM
GunnySniper GunnySniper is offline
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Default Re: Kayaker Missing Port Aransas Texas

Stafford was not wearing a life jacket.
No Matter how strong you are a swimmer, and I was VERY strong in the water at one time, I would never go in a canoe or kayak without some type of personal floatation. I am still amazed by the number of accidental drownings that happen every year around here that were easily preventable.
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  #4  
Old 02-19-2008, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: Kayaker Missing Port Aransas Texas

Always sad to hear stories like this, where tragedy could have been so easily avoided by taking a simple precaution like wearing a PFD. Never leave shore without it!!!

Strange that the kayak has not been recovered though....
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  #5  
Old 03-07-2008, 02:22 PM
GreatSouthBayBucktails GreatSouthBayBucktails is offline
 
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Default Re: Kayaker Missing Port Aransas Texas

I hate to hear about Yakkers dieing ....I am kind of a prick when it comes to yakk fishing . Thats why i am fighting for a Coast Guard course for Yakkers here on the island . I have allready done 2 big saves and dont want to do another one ....Be safe out there

Mikey
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  #6  
Old 03-07-2008, 05:12 PM
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Default Re: Kayaker Missing Port Aransas Texas

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatSouthBayBucktails View Post
....I am kind of a prick when it comes to yakk fishing .
Not sure how you meant that, but I know around here there are a lot of people, power boaters, who are real pricks with regard to sharing the water with kayak fishermen. Several times, I've nearly been capsized by powerboaters who have gone out of their way to intentionally bear down on me and pass within yards at near full throttle. One of these days I'll be lucky enough to have my camera with me and get a video (complete with boat registration #) of one of those pricks attempting to prove how small their dicks are.

Kayak fishing is fast becoming increasingly popular, and though many unfortunate accidents are due to poor judgement on the part of the kayaker, I must add that this is not always the case. I wonder how many times one of these pricks was on the scene moments before the events that lead up to a Coast Guard search and rescue operation.
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  #7  
Old 03-07-2008, 06:40 PM
GreatSouthBayBucktails GreatSouthBayBucktails is offline
 
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Default Re: Kayaker Missing Port Aransas Texas

I fish the yak 90 % of the time at night ......Thye boaters and especially the PB's are bad by me .. I know that is a fast growing sport .But if its not controlled we will have other deaths .....I love yak fishing , but i will stop if something isnt done soon There is a club here who wants to open night acess for the inlets here I have been fighting that for 6 months now I would love night access but not with out a CG course .

Mike
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  #8  
Old 03-10-2008, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: Kayaker Missing Port Aransas Texas

Mike,

How do you propose to control it? In MA they don't require kayaks to be registered, therefore it would be tough to require a class to be taken. They don't even require a test for boaters here, but it does help with insurance. We do require the use of pfd's but removed the need for whistles and a compass from the rules. Then again if you want to argue, their definition of kayak is "“kayak” means a lightweight boat that: (i) is covered, except for a single or double opening in the center thereof;". If you have a sit-on-top it could be argued that it is not a kayak by law.

The ever growing number of people out on the water in various watercraft will undoubtedly increase the number of incidents. I agree that the rules should be amended to require all watercraft users to wear or have readily available a pfd.

BR - I agree on the boat issue, fishing joppa at night I have a 360 light on and they still buzz by. Oh to have them tangle the 50lb braid on my line, after a quick cut w/ my knife, they would either end up beached on a bar or floating out the mouth of the river.

t
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  #9  
Old 03-13-2008, 06:21 PM
GreatSouthBayBucktails GreatSouthBayBucktails is offline
 
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Default Re: Kayaker Missing Port Aransas Texas

Tim


Maybee its time to register them as boats


I dont know , i expect a death or two from LI this year




Mikey
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  #10  
Old 03-14-2008, 09:46 AM
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Default Re: Kayaker Missing Port Aransas Texas

I don't think registering is an answer. You're just giving government more money, with no particular advantage to yourself. Where I live ( Staten Island NY ) you dont have to register a rowboat, canoe, or yak.....if it's not powered. Enough regulation..... next it'll be surfboards and boogie boards. you'll be required 3 inch numbers on either side,a PFD, and a 360 light stuck in your butt. I have an Ocean Prowler and believe in all the safety precautions. Education....not regulation. Uh....sorry again....( stepping down from the soap box )
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  #11  
Old 03-14-2008, 05:51 PM
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Default Re: Kayaker Missing Port Aransas Texas

I despise regulations (seat belts, trans fats, etc) even if they are good for you. I understand the need for pfd's and lights but the biggest thing would be a class that teaches one basic survival skills. Hitting the water in may/june it is damn cold and you are more likely to suffer hypothermia first then you drown. After that let Darwin determine things.

Be safe and enjoy.

t
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