Solo Kayaker to Hawaii Rescued

After just a week, Cyril Derreumaux has abandoned his attempt to kayak alone to Hawaii. He set off on May 31, and although the first few days went smoothly, conditions deteriorated over the last 72 hours. He eventually called for rescue.

Derreumaux had not moved since June 4. Because of the rough weather, he deployed his sea anchor and stayed inside the cabin.

Yesterday, winds reached 55-65kph with gusts over 80kph. The waves towered to 4.5m. He also had an issue with his sea anchor but couldn’t try to fix it in such weather.

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued Cyril Derremeux after just seven days at sea. Photo: @cyrildx


“It was clear that the situation was not sustainable,” he wrote. “Inability to eat, drink, sleep, communicate easily with my team ashore…We then reported the situation to the U.S. Coast Guard to jointly explore all possible options.”

Since Derreumaux was close to the coast and the forecast called for still worsening conditions, Derreumaux eventually chose to request immediate evacuation. “I was hoisted up that night around midnight by the U.S. Coast Guard,” he said afterward.

He is now making plans to recover his custom-made kayak, which is still drifting in the Pacific Ocean. “I won’t give up!!!” he insists.

Rebecca is a freelance writer and science teacher based in the UK. She is a keen traveler and has been lucky enough to backpack her way around parts of Africa, South America, and Asia. With a background in marine biology, she is interested in everything to do with the oceans. Her areas of expertise include open water sports, marine wildlife and adventure travel.

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11 months ago

Holy (expletive)! Ed Gillet completed the trip in a 20 foot off-the-shelf kayak and no 21st century technology! No customized Looks like Gillet’s feat won’t ever be equaled or repeated. If other readers haven’t seen ExWeb’s article about Gillet’s amazing voyage, check it out:

In fairness to Cyril, 1987 was an El Nino year with lower than normal winds…nevertheless, Ed Gillet was of the Holecek/Groh/Polish climbers mold– hyper-tough and willing to suffer if necessary.

Eddy De Wilde
Eddy De Wilde
11 months ago
Reply to  MuddyBoots

Lets be fair to Cyril, Sitting on the waterline with waves of 4.5m is very scary. Two of these attempts in recent times, that I know of, have cost the paddlers their life. Andrew Mc Auley also died going to New Zealand. Ocean paddling is very risky business. If Cyril was halfway he may have died too.