LOS ANGELES (LOG NEWS SERVICE) — The U.S. Coast Guard says a man is lucky to be alive after he was rescued 11 days into his second attempted voyage from California to Hawaii paddling a 22-foot kayak.
After the solar panel that charged the electronics aboard his kayak failed June 7, the man turned back toward the mainland. He made a distress call on June 10 when he became disoriented.
A Coast Guard helicopter spotted the 57-year-old man on June 10 about 60 miles southwest of Santa Barbara’s Point Conception.
The helicopter directed a Coast Guard cutter crew to the man, who was found in good health, the Coast Guard said in a release. His name was not released by the Coast Guard.
However, an article in a recent issue of Canoe & Kayak magazine identified the man as R.W. Hand. The magazine reported that a year ago Hand and a friend had launched two kayaks in an attempt to paddle from Monterey to Hawaii. After eight hours of paddling their kayaks were damaged when they attempted to raft up in heavy seas. His friend accepted a tow from the Coast Guard and Hand paddled back to Monterey.
A friend of Hand said he had left Monterey on May 30 this year attempting again to make the voyage of nearly 2,400 miles to Honolulu.