Shelter Cove Fire Finds ‘Lost’ Kayaker

Shelter Cove Fire after exiting the ocean.

Shelter Cove Fire after exiting the ocean. [All photos provided by Shelter Cove Fire]

On the evening of July 4, personnel from Shelter Cove Volunteer Fire Department launched a search and rescue mission after receiving a report that a kayaker had failed to return to shore on time.

According to Cheryl Antony, spokesperson for Shelter Cove Fire, the Kayaker was supposed to return a little after 6 p.m. With thick fog blanketing the area, his wife became concerned and called 911.

Shelter Cove Fire personnel didn’t have much to go on. “He had a bright yellow kayak and a white shirt but you couldn’t see 10 feet off the shore it was so foggy,” Antony said. Fortunately, the team was already assembled as they were preparing for possible trouble from fireworks traditionally set off by partiers on the beach.

“[The team] the boat out and put on wetsuits.” Antony explained. “Two guys went out and one launched the boat.” Fortunately, she said it was still light. “It was early enough. We can’t go out in the dark and the Coast Guard can’t come out in that kind of fog.”

She said the thought was, “We have to rescue him or no one else will.”

Other team members deployed up and down the coast to scan the waters with binoculars. “Nobody else was out in the water and the boat rescue team had trouble locating him,” she said. “They went out to the buoys and then to any area he might be…Search and Rescue was looking all over. If we don’t find him soon, we aren’t going to find him tonight.”

Searching in a methodical grid, the boat team was having trouble locating the missing man when Antony on a cliff spotted his yellow Kayak trying to make its way to shore through the thick fog and heavy surf. “He was paddling for all he was worth but not making any progress,” she said. “The [rescue] boat came back and…kinda guided him in.”

Antony said, the San Francisco kayaker “didn’t think he was missing, but his wife thought he was missing.”

She added, “His wife was like…’I don’t know whether I should hug him or clobber him.'”

In the end, the man made it safely to shore. “Everyone was kind of laughing,” Antony said. She added, “And [the Kayaker] said, “All this and I didn’t catch a salmon.”

Cheryl Antony in her turnouts flanked by the fisherman and the Shelter Cove Fire medic Shelly Mendes.

Cheryl Antony in her turnouts flanked by the Shelter Cove Fire medic Shelly Mendes and the kayaker.






  • Kayaker gets skunked. Wife smells a rat.

  • Compass and VHF radio!!! Learn the compass bearings of the area and buy a set of handheld marine radios to talk to your family or whoever on shore and other boats if you can’t do that, stay on the beach!

  • glad everyone is smiling

  • According to the kayaker he was never lost, he just didn’t realize he was so late. He couldn’t tell where the sun was through the fog all day. He was shocked (a little embarrassed) that his wife called 911. I walked by just as they were having a “discussion” about it. “What’s the big deal, I can’t believe you called 911….You were supposed to be back ‘hours’ ago…I was fishing, didn’t seem like I was that late, hard to tell in the fog…I thought you were lost in the fog…No I wasn’t lost, I was fine, I can’t believe you called 911!” As I passed by I said “AND the Coast Guard!” He kinda laughed and shook his head, the wife didn’t think it was so funny. But Shelter Cove Fire & Rescue was on it, located the not really lost kayaker, happy ending for all. You guys are rock stars!

    • Maybe next time he should wear a watch so he knows what time of day, it is!!! It just might eliminate “unecessary calls” to 911 & the CG!!!!!! Just a suggestion!!!

  • I’m with the wife on this one. We’ve lost too many people to the sea at the Cove, usually people from out of the area who don’t understand what they’re doing. This could easily have turned into a recovery mission if they had not assisted him. Just ask Shelter Cove Search & Rescue how many people didn’t make it back to shore. That crew are all heroes in my book.

  • Veteran's friend

    There are so many types of technical devices. Makes sense to have a phone, locator, whistle….save mama’s sanity😊

  • Sweet bling.

    Those Talica’s are alright, although overpriced and tender. Guess they were trying to be as fragile as an Accurate.

    But the jewel is that Torsa. Never a better lever drag made. I cherish all my Torsas.

    Glad you made it in safe.

  • Buy him a battery powered VHF radio !

  • Coast guard won’t go out in the fog….. Really.

  • Technically it’s not legal to broadcast on a VHF radio from land. It’s supposed to be for marine use only. She could receive on land though…..

    Just saying.

  • Bare minimum to fish the ocean should be a VHF radio and GPS. If something happens you can give your exact location.

  • That’s pretty extreme calling fire & rescue because he was late. I mean, it doesn’t even get dark until 2000 hours. And clearly he caught two so he wasn’t skunked.

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