Expeditions are dangerous and peril is part of the game—whether you’re on a whitewater run or sea kayak crossing. It’s the latter that has Paddling Life following the phenomenal exploits of Trans-Tasman kayaker Andrew McAuley. Reports surfaced today (Feb. 9) from Australia that there’s a possibility he has gone missing.
Supporters were hoping he’d reach New Zealand’s Milford Sound tomorrow after leaving Tasmania on January 11th. Instead, Australia’s Channel 3 is reporting that the Rescue Coordination Center sent two boats out last night after receiving a disturbing radio message from McAuley. A helicopter is expected to be sent out with the boats today.
Officials aren’t sure yet if the radio message was sent by McAuley but are “playing it safe.”
McCauley is vying to be the first person to solo paddle the 1600 kilometers (1000 miles) of Tasman Sea between Tasmania and New Zealand. He was hoping to carry 60 kilos (132 pounds) of fatty food to keep his energy stores up, sleeping in the cockpit of his kayak during the trip. McAuley abandoned his first attempt 80km in when he couldn’t get warm after being pounded by huge waves. At the time, he was the third to attempt the crossing and the third to fail.