Fellow Dutch-seakayakers did research into the curious news-item concerning the "unteachable kayaker" who managed to keep the rescue services busy - day after day - last week. I received multiple e-mails about the incident - thanks!
It turned out not to be very difficult to find out what happened, because the kayaker made a sponsored trip and arranged quit some press attention in the local papers. Read it for yourself, and make up your own mind:
- the original plan: Per kajak van den Helder naar Borkum - DenHelderActueel
- stranded: Kajaktocht naar Borkum strandt bij Terschelling - Leeuwarder Courant
- report from the support vessel: Kajaktocht afgeblazen - DenHelderActueel
- report from the lifeboat: Kanovaarder strandt in haven Terschelling - KNRM
For the non-Dutch readers:
The 50 year old-man intended to make a non-stop trip along the Dutch Wadden-coast from Den Helder to Borkum. This is a distance of about 100 nautical miles in tidal waters. He planned to do the trip in 3 days, with an occasional break on a support vessel (the support vessel was a historical lifeboat from the National sea-rescue museum). The trip was plagued by incidents from the very first start: the kayaker capsized several times, lost contact with the support vessel, lost gear and got lost himself. Rescue services, coastguard, lifeboats and a helicopters came into action. The stubborn man kept on trying, neglecting advises and agreements. Finally the captain of the support vessel cancelled the happening.
Fortunately nobody got hurt. But a lot of people got involved, public costs are made just because of incompetence and miscommunication. That's sad. Incidents like this do no good for the reputation of us seakayakers...