DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police assist in search for missing windsurfer who was found safe on shore

DOVER – DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers responded to a report from Dewey Beach seasonal police officers of an overdue windsurfer who went missing on Rehoboth Bay Thursday evening after embarking from Towers Road Bayside in Dewey Beach. The uninjured missing male windsurfer was located at 7:45 a.m. today at Bay City off Long Neck, and was subsequently transported to his vehicle by Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers.

The windsurfer, who was outfitted with required safety equipment including a lifejacket and whistle, indicated to Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police that the sail disconnected from his board and could not be reset, and that his whistle was unheard while he was on the water, resulting in him floating for about six hours from his starting location to Bay City, where he was able to safely reach shore.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers were part of the search team consisting of the Dewey Beach Police Department, Delaware State Police, Delaware State Police Aviation, USCG Station Indian River, and USCG Aviation.

Windsurfers (also known as sailboarders) and kiteboarders are reminded that they must have a life jacket and a sound-producing device, such as a whistle or horn, when underway. Additional safety tips for board sports include informing someone of your expected course and when you expect to return; not straying too far from shore; wearing a wetsuit to avoid hypothermia; looking out for and avoiding other vessels and their wakes; and staying aware that your sail can block your view of other vessels.

Contact: Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9086 or 302-354-1386