Missing kayaker found home safe, unaware of search

GREAT FALLS, Md. (WUSA9) -- Montgomery County Rescue and Park Police said Sunday morning they have found a missing kayaker well and safe in Reston, Va.

A witness saw a kayaker in distress Friday afternoon and crews resumed their search on Saturday. It hadn't been confirmed that a kayaker was really missing.

Police had the kayak but there was no sign of who was in it. After speaking to the kayaker, police determined that he had experienced trouble in the water Friday afternoon and had to swim to shore, leaving the boat in the water. He did not realize that his boat had been recovered and that he was the subject of a search.

A witness reported seeing a kayaker in distress at the Observation Deck at Great Falls near the Virginia shore Friday before 2 p.m.

That witness ran to the visitor center to get help and by the time he returned, the kayaker vanished but his boat was upside down and his paddle were left floating in the water near the Angler's Inn Boat Ramp.

Donnie Simmons with Montgomery County Fire and Rescue had said, "Our assumption right now is that there is someone missing. My understanding is police can't confirm anyone is missing."

Rescuers and people experienced on the water warn the river looks peaceful but it's deceiving.

Simmons said, "it's moving fast, it's smooth but underneath, the current is treacherous. Just as we were coming here a kayaker overturned and he lost his kayak but he's was able to self- rescue and climbed out to Carderock Park."

Experts say if you plan on going out on the river have a buddy system or at least tell someone when you will return. Swimming in the Potomac is illegal.

Also put identification in your kayak to include your name and phone number.

"We hate the season to start out this way because we are out having fun every day and then you have someone who doesn't have the experience, it saddens our heart. We're hoping he's home and doesn't realize people are out looking for him and finally realize," said Greg Miller.

PHOTOS: Rescuers search for missing kayaker at Great Falls: http://on.wusa9.com/1pvzSvm


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