SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - A Marin County kayaker attempting a solo 2,400-mile voyage from the Bay Area to Hawaii was rescued about 70 miles off the Santa Cruz coast, forcing him to abandon his dreams of making an epic journey over the next two months.
"I had a technical failure," Cyril Derreumaux of San Rafael said on Sunday after he was rescued. He said that a crucial piece of equipment, called a sea anchor, failed.
Nothing of his high-tech kayak was left either.
"When the Coast Guard comes and saves you, they only safe your life," he said.
He then gave a huge shoutout to the crews who saved him, describing them as fast, efficient and really nice guys.
Derreumaux, already a Guinness Book of World Record holder, had departed from Sausalito early on May 31 with the goal of reaching Honolulu in about 70 days.
The Coast Guard dispatched a helicopter at about 10:25 p.m. on Saturday, and the aircrew reached him two hours later — located 70 miles west of Santa Cruz. It shared a dramatic video of the crew hoisting the kayaker into the helicopter and later returning to Air Station San Francisco.
"The kayaker lost GPS capability, had nearly capsized due to heavy weather and contacted the Coast Guard for rescue," the Coast Guard stated in a news release.
"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. "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."
Video shared by the U.S. Coast Guard shows the dramatic rescue early on June 6, 2021. (Photo credit: U.S. Coast Guard)
Derreumaux, who originally hails from France, has been kayaking for 12 years and has completed hundreds of trips. The solo journey to Hawaii is 2,400 nautical miles, an experience that has been detailed on his website solokayaktohawaii.com.
"Being alone is just very different," he previously told KTVU. "I have to be self-aware all of the time, what's going on mentally, physically. The weather the electronics, the boat evolution, seasickness, sleep deprivation, food nutrition, hydration. There's so much I have to think so I have to be self-aware at all times."
In 2016, Derreumaux was part of a four-man team who spent almost 40 days rowing from Monterey, California to Oahu, Hawaii — leading to the Guinness World Record for the fastest crossing.
Derreumaux doesn't know when, but he said he'll set off on another journey again.