Unmanned Kayaks Cost Billions in Unnecessary Searches

The U.S. Coast Guard recently estimated that searches involving unmanned and unidentified kayaks found adrift at sea have cost taxpayers billions of dollars in unnecessary search-and-rescue operations. In many cases, the kayaks floated free of shore during a high tide. Others may have been blown off docks or beaches in strong winds.

A Coast Guard spokeswoman recently revealed that since January there have been around 60 unmanned kayak cases in New England.

The cost per hour to fund a search operation is around $113,000 per hour.

The Coast Guard is asking all owners of kayaks, canoes, paddle boards and rowboats to secure their vessels and to attach an ID sticker to the hull, so that searchers can contact them if the vessel is found adrift.