USCG Search

Unmanned Kayaks

For every unmanned kayak reported, the Coast Guard must assume that a person is missing and in distress, and that requires a full-scale search and rescue effort involving Coast Guard personnel, vessels and aircraft.

The Coast Guard estimates a team on the water costs $113,000 per hour.

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Outside Jewell

Always Dress for the Water Temperature

It’s May. Do you know what the water temperature is?

May 1-15 = 47ºF / May 16-31  = 51ºF

Every Spring, warming air entices many people to go out in small boats when the water temperature is still deadly cold. 50ºF water doesn't sound particularly cold or dangerous if you mentally compare it to 50ºF air.

Average sea water temperatures in Portland, Maine:
  • January 34ºF
  • February 33ºF
  • March 37ºF
  • April 1-15 39ºF; April 16-30 41ºF
  • May 1-15 47ºF; May 16-31 51ºF
  • June 56ºF
  • July 61ºF
  • August 62ºF
  • September 59ºF
  • October 52ºF
  • November 47ºF
  • December 39ºF
Relative Water Temperatures

True or False?

If the combined air and water temperatures are below 120 degrees Fahrenheit, a wetsuit is a must and a drysuit is highly recommended.

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contact tow on foredeck

Contact Tows

Safety gear that we bring every time we launch our sea kayaks includes a contact tow.

A contact tow is a short tow line set up to perform a wide variety of functions. It is attached to the deck kayak safety gearlines in front of your cockpit, where it can be easily reached. It should connect quickly and simply with wide gate stainless steel carabiners. Being able to vary the length of the contact tow line allows you to tow different length boats. As with all towing systems, some method of quick release is essential. A contact tow can be used to tow short distances; it can also be used to bring a boat to a swimmer, which is easier than towing a swimmer to their boat.

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