By J02 A. A. Rodal
The Navy had a temporary new recruit when Miss Lois Maertz joined the officers and men of the USS Claud Jones (DE 1033). for a special presentation.
Miss Maertz was presented a 12-foot, blue and gold kayak, and a bright yellow bikini by the ship's crew, thus ending the saga of the renegade kayak and a lost bikini top. The kayak is the same one on which Miss Maertz went paddling recently, in the beautiful surf of Waikiki. She soon found herself being carried to sea by strong ocean currents. She told of trying to paddle the craft back to Waikiki with little success and finally of being dumped into the water when a large wave struck. The kayak got away, and Lois began swimming toward the beach. Picked up an hour and a half later by a Japanese fishing boat, she found, much to the delight of the crew, that she was 'topless'. Seems her gold bikini top had been lifted by the sea. The mystery of the renegade kayak was solved when crewmen of the destroyer escort Claud Jones recovered the 12-foot red kayak adrift off Ewa Beach. The Jones' crew was involved in exercises off' Ewa Beach, when one of the ship's lookouts, BMSA J.J. Martin, spotted what he described as a "diamond-like, red, bobbing buoy."
The Claud Jones' commanding officer, LCdr. R. A. Christian, saw the object about the same time and ordered the ship alongside. "We maneuvered about 15 minutes," he said, "to recover the kayak."
As far as the Navy was concerned, the kayak was "salvage". having been found a mile and a half off shore. But LCdr. Christian recalled reading of Miss Maertz's experience in the local paper and began trying to locate her to identify and reclaim the craft. The Kayak was repaired and refiberglassed by volunteers in the crew, and painted blue and gold (Navy colors, naturally). and presented to Miss Maertz. The crewmen of the Claud Jones also gave her a yellow bikini.
The case of the
RENEGADE KAYAK AND MISSING BIKINI
THAT'S MINE? Miss Maertz shows surprise at the repaired and repainted kayak that the men of Claud Jones returned to her.
FAIR EXCHANGE -- When LCdr. Christian presented Miss Maertz with a yellow bikini to replace the one lost in her mishap, he was surprised to receive the bottom half of the original bikini in exchange.
NAVY FINDS GIRL'S KAYAK
BY Bob Krauss
The men of the USS Claud Jones, a destroyer escort based at Pearl Harbor, have rescued a derelict kayak and are looking for thhhhe gold bikini top to go with it.
Half a dozen sailors spotted the kayak (a plastic-covered paddle canoe) on the high seas Wednesday about 2 miles off Ewa Beach. " Hey, I'll bet that's the kayak lost by the girl who was picked up without her bikini top," said the lookout on the bridge. " If we take it back, maybe we can get her phone number." The topless wahline who lost the kayak in her ill-fated voyage off Waikiki Beach is Lois Maertza, cocktail waitress.
"HEY THAT'S NEAT!" she said yesterday on learning that the Claud Jones has rescued he battered, red and white ocean-crosing kayak. " My roommate uses it a lot and she's really mad at me for losing it."
When told that the crew of the Claud Jones wants to return the kayak on Saturday, she commented nautically, "Far out!"
Skipper Dick Christian of the Claud Jones said his crew was practicing precision anchor drill when they spotted the kayak.
"This is the first time in my 12 year naval career that I've ever rescued another vessel," said Christian. "It was floating mostly submerged with only about a foot of one end sticking out of the water." Christian said his alert crew immediately recognized the significance of their find.
"Some of them had read the paper the day before about the girl in the kayak off Waikiki Beach who lost her bikini top," he said. " at that piont, there was quite a bit of interest in spotting the gold bikini top."
A thorough search proved fruitless, Christian said. He said the kayak was spotted off the port bow of the destroyer. After completing an anchor drill, Christian ordered the ship to back up alng their find. The skipper gave no impression that he had no problem find volunteers to help save the kayak.
"We didn't put anybody inthe water but there were quite a few men involved in the rescue." he said. " We snagged the kayak with a grappling hook and walked it to the stern where the freeboard is low.
The kayak had a couple of holes in it and needed a paint job, Christian said. "Of course, we can't be absolutely certain that it belongs to the girl who is missing her bikini top," he said. " If it does belong to her, we'd like to return it on Saturday." Just in case, Christian said, two willing bosenmates have been working since Wednesday patching the holes and putting a new coat of paint on the kayak.
Missing Bikini...I am that Lois Maertz.. the story is correct with one exception, I did not loose any part of my Bikini. I am still here, Monday, 6/4/12, enjoying kayaking to this day, but not in the ocean, only rivers....Thank you for the memories posted on your site and the restoration of the "Yak".