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Marooned Kayaker’s Nightmare


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Marooned kayaker’s nightmare

A SEA kayaker spent a night in freezing temperatures stranded on a rock ledge at North Head.

The 43-year-old kayaker had to be winched to safety yesterday morning after police divers located him on the rocks below Fairfax Walk.

A NSW Ambulance helicopter was called to airlift the man from the rock ledge about 8.40am after it was deemed too dangerous to swim him back to a water police boat.

The man had spent the night on the rocks after he got into difficulty battling the large swell with a broken oar on Tuesday night..

A fishing boat saw the man early yesterday and alerted NSW water police by letting off a flare.

An ambulance spokesman said the sea kayaker was suffering from hyperthermia when he was rescued.

“‘Because of the large swell he was unable to paddle out of the rocky area to calmer water.

“He was still stranded in the morning and hyperthermic. A helicopter was dispatched and we had to airlift him out of there because of the conditions. “He was airlifted to Manly Hospital.”

A police spokesman said the man’s oar broke on Tuesday.

Two police divers climbed the rocks where the kayaker was.

“He was winched out to safety,” the police spokesman said.

A Northern Sydney Central Coast Area Health Service spokeswoman said the man was in a stable condition at Manly Hospital.

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Whoaaaaa ------ not a place I'd like to spend a night exposed. Lucky he was spotted as it is a bloody long swim from there. Not a place I would go to shore at anytime.

Kayaking alone in open waters with no 2nd paddle???. If you were in a boat you would have been fined. Different rules or lack of for different craft. Same common sense required regardless of rules.

Edited by pelican
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That is One lucky kayaker!! Lucky he wasn't bashed against the rocks or worse, washed out to sea!

Pel, I don't know of many yakkers that take out a spare paddle, but I think he was pretty dumb

1) to be on his own

2) not to take out a phone or 2way radio of some sort!

3)If going offshore, they should also let the local Coastal Patrol know, just in case ......

4) Letting a family member/friend know where he was going & what time he should have been back!

Sometimes, it is just wiser not to go out at all, if it is choppy (as it has been over the last week or so.)

If going offshore, I guess they should really have a flare or something similar for emergency situations, too.

If in doubt, don't!


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Any of the club Kayakers who do any ocean stuff carry a second 2 piece paddle and if it is a club event they aren't allowed off the beach without one. I have only ever snapped a cheaper paddle in the surf line but have seen many blades come off shafts. If I had half a paddle and a hand I wouldn't be going to shore there and would have used the half to slowly go anywhere else as it is a pretty busy boating area and a washing machine close in. Mobiles can be so hit and miss under cliffs but worth a try.

You're Ok with the Hobie as they have the mirage drive and a paddle strapped on the deck as well for a back up.

Club kayakers always have members with rescue / tow lines and radio for all journeys.

You see quite a few going from the inner harbour round to little manly and it is a fair way to paddle and wouldn't be nice at the minute with the water temp so low to spend long in the water.

Glad he is safe

Edited by pelican
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Hi Pel

Good to read that - great to hear the club yakkers take out 2 paddles & have to stick to the rules, cos I bet most Yak Fishos don't (apart, as you say, the hobies, who usually take their paddle out anyway.)

I know how choppy it has been up here just recently, in the lake as well, so can only imagine the same down there! Caution, tempered with a reasonable amount of common sense is needed sometimes, when considering whether to go out or not.


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hehehe I reckon he was one of the non fisho yakkers ..... the ones we see going out in the Mirage type sleek yaks! Just a guess, tho!


Don't suppose there were any pics in the paper

Anyone want a cheap used yak ....... somewhere on or near the rocks of North Head (assuming he wasn't winched up with the yak!!!)

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we ran into a yakker about 5 km off jb headed north i crussed up to see if he was alright and he was most pissed that i broke his stroke or some thing

he was solo, the guy at north head was way lucky there was only a small swell

where he was stuck we call the washing tub slop and chop every where


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