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Story - News

Sep 22, 2009 7:31 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Missing kiteboarder found; man had gone home after losing gear

Sep 22, 2009 7:31 PM

A report of a missing kiteboarder off Georgica Beach in East Hampton Village ended happily on Friday afternoon when the man who had lost his board and kite called the police to inquire about his gear.

After a three-hour rescue search involving a U.S. Coast Guard rescue helicopter and a Suffolk County Police chopper, two 47-foot Coast Guard rescue boats and 30 police officers, East Hampton Village Police received a phone call at 4:50 p.m. from Richard Keogh, 46, of Sag Harbor, who swam to shore at Sagg Main Beach after losing his gear midday and went home.

He later called police after hearing from a friend that Southampton Town Police were searching the beach in Sagaponack after his kite and board were found in East Hampton.

The search began shortly after 1 p.m., when East Hampton Village Police received a report of a possible overturned kayak in the waters off Georgica Beach. East Hampton Village Police Chief Jerry Larsen said police received another report of “a person clinging to a surfboard” about 75 yards offshore at about 1:15 p.m. The ocean was choppy and a stiff wind blew out of the west-southwest at between 15 and 20 knots.

Chief Larsen said police patrolling the beach found what appeared to be a portion of a sail drifting in the surf on the beach between Georgica and Main beaches. At about 2:40 p.m., a Suffolk County Police helicopter reported finding a board, which one of the Coast Guard boats, with the aid of a lifeguard on a Jet Ski, recovered.

By about 3:30 p.m., police had moved their command post to Main Beach as the rescue effort moved east. Police were joined at the scene by members of the East Hampton Volunteer Ocean Rescue team and the East Hampton Town Harbor Patrol.

The search was called off at 4:50 p.m. when Mr. Keogh called police to ask if they had his gear.

After learning about the extensive search effort, Chief Larsen said Mr. Keogh “said sorry. He apologized for not calling.”

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who pays for the search team???what a dumb ass.!!
By montauk resident (41), montauk on Sep 18, 09 7:18 PM
All are to be commended for their quick response and professional actions. Luckily there were no victims and thanks should go out to the people that reported their concerns. Now as for the montauk resident,you just keep counting your money Their are many of us who gladly welcome paying for these fine rescue individuals for their time, Sorry, if it didn't to be the drama you were looking for Ms. avatar.
By Johnny Nova (83), Northampton on Sep 18, 09 7:44 PM
3 members liked this comment
This kiteboarder acted in a stupid and reckless fashion. What did he expect to happen, when his board was spotted with nobody on it?,, As well in these conditions, a partner at the beach, would be the smart call. As well, what would have happened if these rescue craft and manpower were needed else-where while this so called search and rescue were underway? however alls well that ends well
By EG (8), east hampton on Sep 18, 09 8:25 PM
This kiteboarder acted in a stupid and reckless fashion. What did he expect to happen, when his board was spotted with nobody on it?,, As well in these conditions, a partner at the beach, would be the smart call. As well, what would have happened if these rescue craft and manpower were needed else-where while this so called search and rescue were underway? however alls well that ends well
By EG (8), east hampton on Sep 18, 09 8:25 PM
1 member liked this comment
not everyone from montauk is a madoff,mr. nova.just ahard working individual,who respects the ocean&our local rescue &coast guard&hates to see them risk precious time .happily,this man lived to tell his tale &has learned an important lesson on water safety.most don't get a second chance.was not looking for drama ,as you suggest,am also happy to pay these fine rescue individuals for their time,some of them are my family,too.!
By montauk resident (41), montauk on Sep 19, 09 8:32 AM
1 member liked this comment
This story highlights our emergency services working as we expect them to. Good work, even it turned out to be unnecessary.

No onus attaches to the kiteboarder. He was unaware that citizens onshore had called in reports that there might be a man in distress. He didn't think that he was in danger so why would he call the cops?

By highhatsize (3930), East Quogue on Sep 19, 09 1:14 PM
Nice reporting at the end of the week, especially the update late in the day about the safe outcome for all. Thank you for keeping us informed.

Thanks to all the emergency responders for their quick and thorough efforts. Turns out it was a false alarm (not called in by the wind surfer BTW) which happens once in a while. I imagine this event will highlight that the various response teams on The East End are ready to go as one team. Well done, and not a wasted event at all IMO.
By PBR (4900), Southampton on Sep 20, 09 12:23 PM
Hey faceless relax. You can be a very skillful kiteboarder and things can go wrong. I know because I ride. He didn't know people were looking for him and when he realized they were he called to make sure they knew he was alright. This guy happens to be a very good rider consider it good practice for emergency response teams. No one was hurt so thats all that matters!
By poools81 (10), hampton bays on Sep 20, 09 1:43 PM
- poools8

Ccould you tell me how much the, "gear", that the kiteboarder lost would be worth? (I assume that this refers to the kite and shrouds.)
By highhatsize (3930), East Quogue on Sep 20, 09 2:27 PM
A new kite with the bar and lines can be as much as 1500dollars. The boards aren't cheap either anywhere from 250 to 1000.
By poools81 (10), hampton bays on Sep 20, 09 3:04 PM
Is anyone hear happy that this story had a happy ending??? For once?!?! If the story ended with the mans body being found floating up to shore all the complainers above would be chiming in on their condolences to the "dumb ass" family (as montauk resident put it), wouldnt you all?? Or maybe not - maybe you would still be chastising him. GEEEEESH!!
By Sam (252), Westhampton Beach on Sep 21, 09 6:48 AM
don't see any comments HERE that indicate anyone unhappy with the out come.but even if he honestly &innocently didn't think anyone would be looking for him ,(which we all can probably agree on)wouldn't a person of normal intelligence report $1500,00+ worth of equipment lost????
By montauk resident (41), montauk on Sep 21, 09 9:59 PM
I HONESTLY thought the first day I turned to this comment page for this particular story it would be filled with nothing but "oh so glad he is alive" "so glad this story unlike others has a happy ending" "his family must be so happy" "he is very lucky to BE alive" "great to hear some GOOD news reported for a change" ETC ETC ETC. Boy was I wrong!!!! Can you imagine if he or his family was reading this page? Johnny Nova: well said. To some of the heartless commentators: you really need to do some ...more
By Sam (252), Westhampton Beach on Sep 22, 09 7:16 AM
2 members liked this comment
In regards to safety the kiter did the right thing. He ditched his gear and got to safety. Many kiters (mainly beginners) lose their boards-I don't think in 8years of kiting I have ever heard of anyone calling a search and rescue on finding a washed up/floating board. Sometime people just accidentally leave them on the beach and the tide comes in and sweeps it away. I have heard of people calling the coast guard when they see a kiter doing a self rescue. I am not sure what the way to avoid this ...more
By kiteboardinstructor (1), brooklyn on Sep 22, 09 7:53 AM
If you surf on the East end and see our waves, and the amount of people we deal with in the water out here, you would know why a search took place. That's why the east end has "a 12 month "ocean rescue squad" of rescue swimmers that is not part of any fire department, or boat unit. it is the only one of its kind on the East Coast, outside of the US ccoast guard. They are top notch and they are all volunteers tied in to the local marine patrol Police, and local emergency preparedness.
By johnnytax (29), new york on Oct 22, 09 8:08 PM
Oh people, please..........the guy is safe and the search and rescue crews did exactly what they are trained for..........enough already.
By MaryMac (43), Riverhead on Sep 22, 09 3:39 PM
Actually this guy had no leash and he was using a conventional surfboard - (and was in over his head) he overestimated his abilities which is common and had to shed his sail to get to shore. There was actually another sail found floating offshore shortly after this search. He was rather cavalier about the whole thing, as he admitted seeing the helicopters and rescue boats. He just didnt care - most people realize that if you leave something in the water floating offshore - it attracts attention. ...more
By johnnytax (29), new york on Sep 22, 09 10:18 PM
Thank you so much to the Police and Coast Guards it was my son that was reported missing. The comment from poools81 was so correct, my son has been surfing for 30years and is a very skillful kiteboarder, but like he said things can go wrong, I'm just so pleased it didn't end up a tragedy. As for the comment he didn't care well that is so far from the truth, my son does care he just didn't realise they were looking for him.
I have already lost a son, who was stabbed, and a daughter who had cancer, ...more
By my son (1), Gold Coast Australia on Sep 23, 09 5:47 AM
The guy that turned up to collect the board from the cops was a 40 year old guy with a french accent who couldn't have cared less. - the kiteboarder was no kid.
By johnnytax (29), new york on Apr 6, 10 9:56 PM
No leash. Sorry. Do u have my toys officer? Mommy doesn't want u 2b mad at me.

"The combo of consistently bad or inadequate behavior + frequent plays for yr pity is the closest thing you'll ever get to a warning that you are being manipulated by a Sociopath."-- M. Stout Ph.d author of "The Sociopath Next Door"
By sachem (1), montauk on Sep 15, 10 9:04 PM
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