OCEAN CITY — A kite surfer who was reported to be missing in a  phoned-in report of a kite surfer in distress on Thursday afternoon is okay, according to the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard began a search after their Atlantic City office received a call about an individual, whom the caller said was wearing all black, seen drifting out to sea after falling off a kiteboard approximately 500-yards off Corson Inlet, at around 3:20 p.m.

A search was launched involving a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Air Station Atlantic City, a Station Atlantic City 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew, and a Station Cape May 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew, according to the Coast Guard.

The individual called the Coast Guard on Friday morning and said after the kite malfunctioned he cut it free and used his board to paddle back to shore and return home.

The Coast Guard said an area of approximately 550 square miles was covered looking for the surfer. He told Ocean City police he was unaware of the search.

At that time, winds were out of the northwest sustained around 20 mph with gusts to 35 mph, according to New Jersey 101.5 chief meteorologist Dan Zarrow.

Ocean City police reported on their Facebook page that a 10-foot black and white kite with "Ocean Rodeo Cypher" written on it was found in the water, but neither a board nor a person was found.

No missing person reports were filed and no property or vehicles were found on the beach, according to police.

"Our hopes are that the individual safely returned to shore after separating from the kite and prior to first responders arriving to the scene. This is an active investigation," the OCPO said before they were contacted.

"Cases like this also illustrate the importance of labeling your kayaks, canoes, kite boards and other recreational marine vehicles, so that in the event they are lost, or you are missing, we can reach out to contact you or return it," Petty Officer 1st Class Alex Castonguay, a watchstander at the Sector Delaware Bay command center said.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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