Kayaker swept 4km out to sea is saved with an emergency alert from his Apple WATCH
Kayaker swept 2.5 miles into the sea is rescued by a distress alert from his WATCH – while helicopter rescue crew says he’s very lucky to be alive
- Rescue workers saw the orange kayak 4 km off the coast on Saturday morning
- The kayaker got separated from his mate and drifted out to sea
- He was winched aboard the helicopter and transported back to shore unharmed
- A rescuer said the man was lucky to have his watch and it had a signal
A kayaker who had been swept 4 km into the sea by strong currents was rescued by helicopter after making a distress call on his Apple Watch.
The man ventured out with another male kayaker from Balmoral on Sydney’s north coast early Saturday morning, but the pair split.
Large swells and strong winds drove one of them into the sea and, unable to paddle back to shore, he used his smartwatch to call for emergency help shortly after 9:00 am.
A search for the kayak was immediately launched with the NSW Police Marine Area Command calling Surf Lifesaving NSW and the Westpac rescue helicopter.
Rescuers saw the bright orange kayak 4km into the sea after the man was swept away in strong surf (pictured)
Male lifeguards and the Freshwater Surf Lifesaving Club also helped by deploying jet skis and inflatable lifeboats.
The rescue helicopter then spotted the bright orange kayak nearly 2.5 miles offshore with the extremely tired kayaker struggling to stay upright.
“He fell out of his kayak and took in quite a bit of water,” helicopter rescuer Nick Pavlakis told 9 News.
“He was lucky to have a connection on his device to make that desperate call for help.”
The man was hoisted aboard the helicopter just before 9:30 am and his kayak was recovered by Manly’s lifeguards and returned to shore.
The kayaker (pictured) was tired but unharmed except for mild hypothermia
The rescue helicopter returned to Balmoral and landed in a sports oval where paramedics were waiting, but the man refused treatment as he was unharmed.
The search continued for the man’s companion, but was called off when police reached him by phone and told him he had already returned to shore.
The Bureau of Meteorology issued a warning of dangerous surf off the coast of Sydney on Saturday, with swells reaching up to 7 meters in some areas last night.
On Sunday morning, another dangerous surf warning was issued off the coasts of Coffs Harbor and Byron Bay, advising rock fishermen, boaters and swimmers all to exercise caution.
One of the rescuers Nick Pavlakis (pictured) said the man was lucky to be able to call for help