While responding to reports of flare sightings over Long Island Sound, the Coast Guard and local agency crews found two unmanned kayaks off the coast of Madison, Conn., but the search was called off when no boaters were found.
At 11:40 p.m. Wednesday, watchstanders from Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound command center received a report from two sources who witnessed two red parachute flares in the area of Madison.
A 45-foot response boat-medium boatcrew from Coast Guard Station New Haven and several fire boats from the area began searching the area for a possible boater in distress.
Those crews searched until 3 a.m. Thursday, when they were relieved by a boatcrew from Station New London.
During a first light search Thursday, an HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod conducted a search and located two unmanned kayaks, with no gear or any identifying marks.
Gilford Fire Department officials found a third unmanned kayak with no gear or identifying marks near Gilford Marina on Thursday.
At 10:13 a.m., the search for a possible distressed boater was suspended pending any new information.
The Coast Guard said there is no connection between the unmanned kayaks and the flare sightings.
The Coast Guard urges all paddle craft owners to label their kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards to reduce unnecessary search and rescue cases.
Anyone with information about the unmanned kayaks are encouraged to call Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound Command Center at 203-468-4401.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.