A 49-year-old man from Los Angeles had to be rescued some six miles out to sea, off the Ventura County coastline over the weekend, officials announced on Monday.
Blair Boyle told first responders with the Ventura County Aviation Unit that he paddled his kayak to Anacapa Island Saturday morning and that when he was returning to Oxnard Harbor, he accidentally overturned the kayak.
“He attempted to right the kayak several times but was unsuccessful before using his cell phone to call for help,” a joint news release from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office and Fire Department said.
At 2:20 p.m., fire officials received a 911 call requesting assistance in locating Boyle. A Ventura County helicopter was dispatched with a search and rescue team after receiving Boyle’s approximate GPS coordinates. A sheriff’s boat and a fire department boat were also dispatched to help locate the kayaker.
“Ventura County Copter 9 responded to the area of the GPS coordinates and immediately located Blair floating in the water, clinging to his kayak which was partially submerged but still floating,” the release stated.
A rescue swimmer was deployed from the helicopter and used a rescue basket to hoist Boyle into the chopper where he was evaluated by a paramedic.
Boyle, who was uninjured, estimated he was in the water for about an hour before being rescued. He was then flown to Oxnard Airport where he was reunited with his family. The sheriff’s boat recovered Boyle’s kayak, which was later returned to him.
“The Ventura County Aviation Unit would like to take this opportunity to remind the public about a few simple steps that could save your life if you experience an emergency in the outdoors. Remember to let others know where you plan on going, your planned route, and when to expect your return. Be aware of the weather, take plenty of water/snacks, and a back-up communication device such as a personal locator beacon (PLB). Being prepared and having a few simple essentials could save your life,” officials said.