“I was timing it so the incoming current would carry me back up to Cattle Point. I miscalculated the level of turbulence and tidal eddies that come around that corner.”Fortunately, he had filed a float plan with both his wife and Ocean River. Authorites were alerted when he did not return and he was found tied to his kayak and pulled from the water about five hours later. He remains in hospital recovering from mild hypothermia, and is expected to fully recover.
At about 3:30 p.m., he was trying to paddle through rough water when a wave tossed him into the sea. He had a good life jacket on and was wearing clothing made of wet-suit material.
He tried to get back into the kayak. But, “it was like trying to climb onto a cork. It flipped over on top of me two or three times.”
He was within a few hundred metres of Discovery Island and tried for a while to push the kayak toward shore. “I kept running into kelp beds. I tied myself off to the boat so I wouldn’t get separated from it. I found I could get a leg and an arm onto the kayak.”
The light faded and he got concerned.
“I knew it was a life-threatening situation and I knew all the possibilities. I teach with the Power Squadron and that’s one of the things we always stress — safety and what happens if you go in the water.”
I sure wouldn't want to take a sit-on-top around Discovery Island, but the kayaker in question has had pervious experience in this type of boat. He did have a cell phone and a VHS radio, but both were lost or rendered inoperative when he overturned. But he was wearing some sort of immersion gear, and that probably saved his life. That, and his float plan.
As a spokesman for Oak Bay Marine Search and Rescue said, “It’s a reminder that what looks like a short, easy paddle can go very wrong, and it’s important to have some means of signalling distress if you get into trouble.”