While it doesn’t happen often, a surfer can sometimes lose their board to the ocean – thanks to a broken leash and a big wave that quickly pushes it out of sight and out to sea. That not only means the surfer must swim to shore but also that he’ll just have to chuck up the board as a loss.

Before doing so, however, the Coast Guard asks one favor: call 911. Sounds weird, almost funny, but calling 911 to report a missing surfboard (kayak, canoe) will prevent the Coast Guard, and other first responders, from wasting their time.

I remember seeing on the news a photo of a longboard someone found in waters off of Diamond Head. The Coast Guard had been searching for the missing owner of the board for some time, seeking the public’s help and everything. But as it turns out, the owner was not missing but rather, safe and sound at home. A happy ending to the story, for sure; not so happy was the team of first responders who spent days searching for the board’s owner.

It’s very likely you’ll surf while on your Hawaii vacation – whether it be renting from a surf stand or testing one out at shops, like STABL. But if for some reason you end up losing your board, please remember to report it missing before you totally kiss it goodbye. It’s sort of a new thing (or at least something that’s being publicized more often), and not many people know to do this.

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