Early Saturday morning, the U.S. Coast Guard rescued a missing kayaker nine miles south of Gaviota State Beach Park. The kayaker — a Solvang man in his late fifties — had become hypothermic after he spent more than 14 hours on the open ocean wearing just shorts, a t-shirt, and a life vest.
The kayaker had attempted to paddle back to shore within 100 yards of the Gaviota Pier, according to Sheriff’s spokesperson Kelly Hoover, but strong currents carried him away from the shoreline. He again tried to paddle in, Hoover added, but the currents and afternoon offshore winds proved too strong.
The man’s wife, worried when her husband did not come home, contacted park rangers, who later contacted the Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team. The County Fire Department and Aviation Unit, California State Parks lifeguards, and a Coast Guard helicopter and cutter were also dispatched and assisted in the rescue effort.
The man was released after being evaluated by paramedics.