Kayaker who tried to reach Hawaii 'lucky to be alive': Coast Guard

Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:27pm EDT

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(Reuters) - A man who had to be rescued far from the Californian coast after attempting to kayak almost 2,400 miles (3,860 km) to Hawaii is "very lucky to be alive," the Coast Guard said.

The 57-year-old left Monterey on May 30 in a craft fitted with a solar panel to power the electronics on board, the Coast Guard said in a statement on Tuesday. But eight days later

the panel failed and he turned for home.

"A distress call was made on June 10th as the man started to become disoriented," it said.

An MH-65 helicopter was sent from Los Angeles to find him, and it directed the USCG Cutter Aspen to pick him up about 63 miles southwest of Point Conception. The kayaker reported no injuries and was in good health, it said.

"A voyage from California to Hawaii is a long and treacherous journey for any vessel and exponentially more dangerous for a kayaker," said Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Timothy Hall.

"His preparedness allowed him to call for help but he is very lucky to be alive."

The Coast Guard's statement reminded all mariners that filing a float plan with a friend would increase their chances of being rescued.

(Reporting by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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