The Coast Guard searched for what may be a person in the water off the coast of Newport on Sunday.

At about about 8:50 a.m., a local fishing vessel notified authorities of a unmanned adrift 8-foot red kayak and nearby paddle in the vicinity of Gooseberry Island, R.I.

A Newport Fire Department crewmember notified Coast Guard watchstanders who immediately sent out a urgent marine broadcast and launched a 45-foot motor lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Castle Hill, as well as a MH-60 Jayhawk aircrew from Air Station Cape Cod to search the area. There have been no sightings of a person in the water nor missing person reports. There is no identifying information on the kayak to contact the owner directly.

“If we could reach out to the owners, we could more easily confirm if someone is distress or not,” said Chief Warrant Officer James Deal, a Sector Sector Southeastern New England watchstander. “Because we can’t, we have to assume someone may be in trouble,” he said.

He said the Coast Guard provides “if-found” stickers for paddle craft owners to write their contact information on. “At a minimum, a name and phone number written in permanent marker would be helpful in these types of searches,” he said.

The hourly expense of operating a Jayhawk helicopter is roughly $11,000 and a Motor Lifeboat is estimated at nearly $3,000 per hour.

Anyone with correlating information about a missing paddler in the area or the kayak described are urged to contact Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England watchstanders at (508) 457-3211.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.