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Solo Paddler Aborted Attempt to Kayak from California to Hawaii

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Cyril Derreumaux and the USCG search and rescue crew. Photo: Courtesy of Cyril Derreumaux

Cyril Derreumaux aborted his attempt to paddle solo in his custom kayak, Valentine, from San Francisco, California to Honolulu, Hawaii on Saturday, June 5th. The sea state had deteriorated significantly with wind speeds exceeding 45 knots and troughs in the swell greater than 4.5 m. The challenging conditions on the ocean were compounded by the dual outages of his tracking and navigation equipment and his sea anchor becoming disabled in the storm. The latter left the Valentine in a precarious state at the mercy of the great Pacific.

As night fell, Cyril knew the situation had become unsustainable as he was unable to eat, drink, sleep, or communicate reliably with his support team onshore. The Valentine had drifted within approximately 60 nautical miles of the California coast and after consulting with his support team, Cyril made the decision to request an emergency evacuation.

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) promptly initiated a Search & Rescue operation and Cyril was hoisted from the deck of the Valentine into a USCG helicopter around midnight.

The Valentine remains adrift at sea and plans are underway to track and recover the kayak.

For details on Cyril Derreumaux’s preparations for the excursion, read Kayaker Plans Solo Journey from California to Hawaii.

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