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Coast Guard Rescues Hawaii-Bound Kayaker Outside Santa Cruz

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued the kayaker who was attempting to make a solo voyage to Hawaii early Sunday morning about 70 miles west of Santa Cruz, officials stated in a release.

Cyril Derreumaux, a Bay Area adventurer and Guinness World Record holder, departed from Travis Marina near the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito around 5 a.m. May 31 with the goal of reaching Honolulu within 70 days.

Cyril Derreumaux begins his solo kayaking journey from the Bay Area to Hawaii.
Cyril Derreumaux begins his solo kayaking journey from the Bay Area to Hawaii. (May 31, 2021)

Nearly a week later, at about 9:42 p.m. Saturday, Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders responded to Derreumaux’s request for rescue because of heavy weather, officials said.

On his Facebook page, Derreumaux wrote that ocean conditions on Saturday evening were rough, but manageable; however, that all changed around 9 p.m. “when my ground crew told me that they had lost the AIS signal for 3 hours. I then [noticed] that my navigation system has lost the GPS signal and couldn’t recover it.”

As Derreumaux and his ground crew worked on the electronic issues, he became aware of trouble with his kayak.

“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,” he wrote.

“Attempts to get out to more accurately assess the condition of the sea anchor and to resolve the issue were unsuccessful and resulted in water entering my cabin.” Derreumaux said he then had to make the difficult decision to request evacuation.

“As night had just fallen, it was clear that the situation was not sustainable: Inability to eat, drink, sleep, communicate easily with my team ashore,” he wrote. “With my land support crew, we then reported the situation I was in to the U.S. Coast Guard to jointly explore all possible options.”

The Coast Guard launched its MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew at 10:25 p.m., Coast Guard officials said.

The crew arrived on scene at 12:39 a.m. Sunday, which is when they hoisted the kayaker into the helicopter and returned to Air Station San Francisco.

“Recognizing that the situation was beyond his capabilities and calling for assistance allowed our crews to reach him in time for a successful rescue,” said Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Kroll, a Coast Guard spokesperson. “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.”

Derreumaux was found to be in good condition with no medical concerns, Coast Guard officials said.

“Morale is good, I still have my passion for this adventure intact, and I am still determined to make it happen,” Derreumaux wrote. “I won’t give up!!!”

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Source: NBC Bay Area

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