By Mike Stevens
A day after a local resident unsuccessfully responded to strained pleas for help from a man drifting away from shore in the cold, nighttime waters of Albemarle Sound, N.C., searchers recovered a body. It was positively identified as missing North Carolina kayaker Jonathan Rodwell Day of Collington, N.C. He was 35.
Day was apparently fishing from a 19-foot sit-inside kayak when he capsized or otherwise fell out of the kayak. He was not wearing a PFD.
The call for help was placed to the Coast Guard at about 9:40 p.m. A search party including a pair of helicopters was immediately deployed. They covered approximately 30 square miles into Thursday morning until the suspension of the search.
While Day was paddling without a personal floatation device, it also appears as though multiple risk factors were present and may have contributed to the tragedy. Day was out at night by himself in cold, rough water, evidently was unable to climb back into his touring-style kayak, and either lacked or was unable to contact help via phone, radio or other signaling devices.
Unfortunately, this lack of precautionary measures fits the typical profile when it comes to kayak fishing fatalities.