Hawaii-bound kayaker rescued by Coast Guard off California

Six people pose in front of a Coast Guard helicopter.
Kayaker Cyril Derreumaux, in shorts, poses in San Francisco with the U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew that rescued him Saturday off the California coast.
(U.S. Coast Guard )

A kayaker hoping to paddle solo from California to Hawaii was rescued by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter six days after he set out, amid rough seas and high winds.

Cyril Derreumaux endured several problems with his 23-foot kayak, but when he lost his sea anchor, he knew he had to cut his adventure short, he said.

“It went from bad to worse very fast after that,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle from his home in Larkspur.


After consulting with his land crew, Derreumaux phoned the Coast Guard for a rescue Saturday night, when he was about 70 miles west of Santa Cruz. A diver was lowered from a helicopter into the water and helped hoist Derreumaux up.

15 people were taken into custody with 10 rescued by lifeguards; boat eventually came into shore near Children’s Pool

In addition to the loss of the anchor, the kayak’s anchor lines had become entangled in the rudder, the GPS wasn’t functioning properly, and Derreumaux was seasick while pummeled with 12-foot waves.

The kayak remains adrift in the ocean. Derreumaux said he hopes to coordinate a retrieval effort this week when the winds die down.

“I made the right call,” Derreumaux, 44, told the newspaper Sunday. “It’s still disappointing.”

Derreumaux set out May 31 from Sausalito and expected the Pacific voyage to take about 70 days. He had prepared for the trip for three years.