"TARPON SPRINGS — A kayaker who went missing Saturday was found safe Sunday morning.
Several agencies had been searching for David _ after he was reported missing.
David, 25, who had launched his 15-foot single-passenger kayak near Bayshore Drive on Saturday, was found paddling to shore Sunday morning. He told officers he got caught in a low tide and spent the night on an island until the water was high enough for him to return home.
The U.S. Coast Guard, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office helped with the search."
While it may be common sense to some of us, there are a few that just don't put the forethought into what they are about to do. Now, I'm not poking fun at this guy, I just thought it was a good segway into a helpful article for beginners or maybe even a refresher for some.
There are a four must DO's before any trip that I like to call "LIFE".
L-ocation, always tell someone what your plan is. Where you'll be going and when you'll be home.
I-ce (in-case of emergency) Do you have any way to contact anyone for help? It's best to have a fully charged cell phone stowed in a waterproof dry box.
F-orcast, Check the forecast! Not just the weather conditions, check the tides, the wind and direction. This is a critical step, if you are heading into a shallow bay, it is possible on a low tide and the right wind conditions for it to drain out almost completely, leaving you high and dry.
E-quipment, Do you have all your gear? Do you have everything that is required by law?
Here in Florida the weather can change in an instant, it can literally go from calm and sunny to heavy rain, strong thunder storms and 25+ winds in a matter of minutes. Being prepared is not just making sure you have all your safety devices and letting someone know where you are. It also means knowing what to do, should you get caught of guard. I have to admit that I go kayaking alone more often than with company. However I am aware of my surroundings and have the necessary equipment with me to get through most situations. Granted yes, there are some unexpected things that could happen to you that you could never plan for, and that is why it is crucial that someone else know where you are and when you should be home.
Some basic equipment (aside from the ones required by law) you should never leave land without. An anchor. It is a little easier to find someone who is stationary, rather than drifting out to sea. A manual bilge pump. This one is most important if your kayak or canoe does not have scupper holes. Dry Clothing. Just in case of the accidental immersion. Extra fresh water and food. A sharp knife. Extra rope (not attached to the anchor). Sun block!!
I hope this help at least one person to be safe.