Upturned kayak found

10 February 2007, 10:45pm

An upturned and empty kayak has been recovered from the sea approximately 40 nautical miles (80 kilometres) west of Milford Sound. There is no sign of the owner of the kayak

It appears to be the kayak of trans-Tasman voyager Andrew McAuley, who was scheduled to arrive in Milford Sound tomorrow (Sunday) morning.

The Rescue Coordination Centre of New Zealand is seeking confirmation that it is Mr McAuley’s kayak.

Rescue Coordination Centre of New Zealand Mission controller Keith Allen said that an Air Force Orion had been sent to search an area west of Milford Sound earlier in the day after a garbled distress message had been received on maritime radio.

“The Orion located the overturned kayak at around 8.00pm and a rescue helicopter was immediately despatched from Milford to recover the kayak”, Mr Allen said.

“The helicopter rendezvoused with a cruise ship assisting with the search, the Clipper Odessy, and an inflatable vessel was launched to recover the kayak. 

“Regrettably, we have been unable to locate the owner of the kayak.  We will begin searching for the kayaker again tomorrow morning using both a helicopter and a fixed wing aircraft”, said Mr Allen.

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