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Wednesday, 28 October 2009 21:05

Student lost at sea overnight on a kayak

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Let me start by saying "This kid is a freakin idiot"! 
Please read to see why

Jason Schultz
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer 

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Florida Atlantic University student got a new respect for the ocean today after an afternoon fishing trip on his kayak turned into an overnight battle with the sea for survival.

"All night long I'm just going like a roller coaster, and it is just crazy waves and lightning everywhere," said 21-year-old Carl Simonson, a junior studying ocean engineering. "If I would have had to go through one more storm, I'm not sure if I would have made it."

Simonson, who grew up in Denver, said for months he's been using his 12-foot inflatable West Marine kayak to fish in the ocean. On Monday afternoon, he paddled out of the Boca Raton Inlet and was about a mile offshore when he hooked a live one. "I was fighting it for like 20 minutes. It was bending my fishing pole all the way down into the river," Simonson said.

He said that after he lost the fish, he discovered he had lost something much more important - his paddle. He tried to paddle to shore by hand, but the current was too strong. By 10 p.m. he was exhausted and called 911 from his cell phone. Then, the storms rolled in.

The kayak did not have any "scuppers" or channels in the hull to allow rainwater to drain out. So he used an empty Coke bottle, but couldn't keep up with all the water flooding in. "At some point," he said, "I just opened my mouth and let it rain into my mouth." He said he spent the night hiding under a tarp and bailing out the boat as he floated north.

When dawn broke, he saw the red and white smokestacks of the Port of Palm Beach in Riviera Beach.Disoriented and thinking he was in Fort Lauderdale, he managed to flag down a freighter named the Monarch Queen, which was heading into the port.The ship rescued him around 8 a.m., gave him water and hot chocolate.

U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Ed Greenfield said units had been searching for Simonson overnight. They issued him a ticket for careless operation. Simonson said he was unharmed by the experience, and his friends picked him up and took him home. Simonson, who has experience whitewater rafting and snowboarding in Denver, said he plans to sell his kayak and save up for kite surfing equipment. "I feel like I am kayaked out," he said.

A local kayaking expert said the Simonson's ordeal is easily avoidable for other kayakers who want to fish offshore. Rolando Williamann, the kayak fishing guide at the Dania Beach-based Kayak Jeff outfitter, said kayakers should not go far offshore in an inflatable kayak because they are very susceptible to winds and are not made for distance paddling. Williamann also said kayakers should not go far offshore in anything less than a 13-foot kayak because shorter boats often cannot generate enough glide to paddle against a strong current. "The most important thing that could have prevented this," he added, "would be a paddle leash and a spare paddle." Story Link


So why is this kid an idiot?


  1. He was fishing in an inflatable kayak "with hooks and other sharp rubber piercing objects"!
  2. Didn't have a paddle leash, backup paddle, or water!
  3. And he waited until 10pm to call 911!

I mean come on, what does it take to get into Florida Atlantic University 430 on your SAT?

Last modified on Thursday, 20 May 2010 08:19
Mark Watanabe

Mark "YakSushi" Watanabe is the Co. Founder of YakAngler.com, "He built this site!". He considers himself a mediocre fisherman and an unexceptional writer. He's the devoted father of a ton of little sushis (Air Quotes) and everyday tech ninja.

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