A man was lifted from his kayak by a US Coast Guard helicopter Saturday night after making it just five days off a planned 64-day solo trip from California to Hawaii.
Cyril Derreumaux, 44, set out on May 31 from Sausalito, four miles north of San Francisco, aiming to reach Honolulu on August 3 to break the world record for the impressive 2,400-mile journey.
News of the Frenchman’s attempt went far and wide, appearing in newspapers around the world.
But on June 2 – just two days after his journey – Derreumaux was forced to anchor his kayak and squat in his cabin, as the rough winds and powerful waves “crashing” on his ship made him seasick.
Cyril Derreumaux’s 2,400-mile kayak trip from Sausalito to Honolulu came to an end on Saturday night when he was rescued by a U.S. Coast Guard crew after just five days at sea
Derreumaux departs Sausalito on the morning of May 31, aiming to reach Honolulu in 64 days
A crew of the US Coast Guard rescues Derreumaux with a helicopter on Saturday evening
His journey was cut short by bad weather and an anchor that could no longer hold him in place
“I paddled non-stop for 7 hours and am super tired,” the French-born “entrepreneur” and “motivational speaker” said in an update.
‘Still a little weak from yesterday’s seasickness, so can’t eat much. Force myself. The wind is increasing tonight and stronger and stronger until Saturday.’
Then his journey came to a premature end.
His ground team lost sight of him, his anchor was damaged and he was “forcibly tossed around along with all the equipment stored in the cabin,” he said in a statement. statement posted on social media after his rescue.
The French-born “entrepreneur” and “motivational speaker” had previously rowed from California to Hawaii as a team member, but had never traveled so far on his own
‘Still a little weak from yesterday’s seasickness, so I can’t eat much. Forcing myself,” Derreumaux said in a live update his team posted to his social media accounts two days after his trip.
While hidden in the small cabin on his kayak, Derreumaux is said to have calmed himself with old Seinfeld episodes
When he lost his anchor amid winds expected to reach 45 knots, it became clear that he had to give up on his odyssey, which he had been preparing for three years, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
A crew of coastguards was deployed by helicopter and a diver was lowered into the water to get Derreumaux to safety. They landed at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday night.
The father of two made 60 nautical miles, just under 70 land miles, to the 2400 mile journey.
Derreumaux, pictured barefoot in the center, was lifted by a diver on June 5 and brought ashore.
The father of sons Oliver and Simon made it 70 miles offshore before the weather forced him to abandon his expedition
But Derreumaux, whose boat remains adrift in the Pacific Ocean, remains undeterred.
“If it looks like I can go for the next three weeks, I will,” he said. “But I will assess the stress I put on my family and especially my girlfriend. It might be too much to take off again this year.’
According to his website, Derreumaux moved to the United States at the age of 18 from a “rural French village” for an exchange program.
He started paddling in 2009. In 2016 he took part in the second Great Pacific Race, where he rowed with a team from San Francisco to Waikiki, Hawaii in 39 days.
Before his departure, some of his rowing buddies had warned of the uncertainty of his journey.
“He’s stepping into the abyss,” said Carter Johnson, Derreumaux’s friend and world record holder for long-distance paddling.
In September, rower Lia Ditton successfully completed a solo trip from San Francisco to Hawaii in 86 days, beating Roz Savage’s record of 100 days in 2008.
At least Derreumaux wasn’t alone as he braved the high seas.
Reactions wishing him the best of luck poured into his social media accounts as he entrenched himself in his cabin, which had just enough room to lie down and watch episodes of season three of Seinfeld.