Kayaker Rescued by U.S. Coast Guard 70 Miles Into Solo Journey from California to Hawaii
"I found myself violently tossed from side to side, along with all the equipment that was stored in the cabin," Cyril Derreumaux wrote of his failed kayaking journey
A Guinness World Record holder was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard this weekend as he attempted a solo kayaking journey from California to Hawaii.
Adventurer Cyril Derreumaux left San Francisco in a kayak just before sunrise on May 31 to start a 70-day solo journey to Honolulu, Hawaii, according to SF Gate. But on Saturday night, Coast Guard Sector San Francisco received a notification that Derreumaux had lost his GPS capability and was close to capsizing due to inclement weather.
The crew flew out from San Francisco and located Derreumaux about 70 miles from land at 12:39 a.m. local time, and brought him up from the water to a helicopter. He was in "good condition" and did not have medical concerns following his retrieval, the Coast Guard said.
"Recognizing that the situation was beyond his capabilities and calling for assistance allowed our crews to reach him in time for a successful rescue," Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Kroll, a Coast Guard spokesperson, said in a statement about the rescue.
"This shows that even experienced mariners with proper safety equipment can get into trouble on the ocean, which is why having the right equipment and knowing when and how to use it is so important," he added.
The Coast Guard also posted a video of the Sunday morning rescue to social media.
According to Guinness World Records, Derreumaux is part of a team that holds the record for the fastest row on the Mid-Pacific east-to-west route in the Classic Four category.
On his Facebook page, Derreumaux detailed what led to his call for help, saying strong winds out at sea made continuing the journey treacherous once his anchor experienced damage.
"My sea anchor was playing its stabilizing role well and the situation remained manageable. This changed unfavorably yesterday at 9 p.m. when my ground crew told me that they had lost the AIS signal for 3 hours," he wrote. "I then notice that my navigation system has lost the GPS signal and couldn't recover it."
"As we were working with my team on a solution to this electronic problem, the general behavior of my kayak suddenly changed, which I immediately attributed to a sea anchor damage," Derreumaux continued. "In a few moments my kayak was positioned almost parallel to the axis of the waves, and I found myself violently tossed from side to side, along with all the equipment that was stored in the cabin."
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Derreumaux said water eventually entered his cabin, and without the ability to "eat, drink, sleep, or communicate" with his team after nightfall, he made the decision to call for help instead of venturing out further and possibly making rescue efforts more difficult.
"The Search & Rescue operation was then set up very quickly and I was hoisted up that night around midnight by the US Coast Guard, whom I thank very much for their professionalism and efficiency," he wrote. "I am therefore now safe, on land, and we are studying with my support team, on the one hand the solutions for recovering my kayak which is adrift, and on the other hand all the scenarios for the future."
"Morale is good, I still have my passion for this adventure intact, and I am still determined to make it happen," he continued. "I won't give up!!!#Life is an adventure."