Monday, February 12, 2007

Sea Kayaker almost certainly dead

Andrew McAuley is almost certainly dead. He set out in a sea kayak paddling from Tasmania, Australia to the Milford region of New Zealand. He almost made it. Two days ago, after a garbled radio message was received, possibly from Andrew, a search was Initiated. His boat has been found. Andrew is missing. After some early failures of his communications equipment he paddled almost all the way - probably to within sight of New Zealand's higher coastal peaks. The boat is missing a modification that provided protection at night and helped stabilise it in the case of a capsize leading to speculation that it, and he have been washed from the craft. After a month paddling he was probably exhausted. It takes a fair bit of effort and coordination to right a fully loaded upturned sea kayak. You have to get in whilst it is upside down then do an Eskimo roll. If he was out of the cockpit, if he was tired and possibly confused, perhaps injured, perhaps partially conscious with a lung full of seawater, if he had lost his paddle and couldn't assemble one of the spares.
These are all the questions his distraught wife will be asking herself, probably for the rest of her life.
Reading the Andrew McAuley website is absolutely gut wrenching.
My sympathies go out for the McAuley family.


Leesha said...

So sad.
News just came through that his family will probably fund their own search for him.

Steph said...

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand of course it is terribly sad for the family, but another part of me thinks he was a complete idiot in the first place.
As the father of a small child, he should have given more thought to his wife and family.
Kinda selfish in a way, and look at the result.

jennifer_starfall said...

still... sad.

unique_stephen said...

I want to know why he didn't have his EPIRB, even one of the little shitty old ones, as an integral part of his life jacked so that if he became separated from the boat he could have pulled the pin and had rescue planes falling around his ears.