15 Jul 2014

Golden Bay locals help retrieve kayak

4:18 pm on 15 July 2014

Golden Bay residents have come to the aid of trans-Tasman kayaker Scott Donaldson after his abandoned kayak was spotted off the coast of Farewell Spit.

Scott Donaldson's crossing was hampered by rough seas and technical problems.

Scott Donaldson was plucked from the kayak by helicopter on 11 July. Photo: JOHN FUNNELL

The Hamilton man set off from Coffs Harbour in New South Wales on 19 April and had hoped to reach New Plymouth last weekend, but was plagued by technical problems, delays and bad weather, and had to be rescued just 80km off New Zealand on 11 July.

His kayak was discovered on Tuesday morning, about 20 nautical miles north-west of the spit, having taken on water.

Some residents are helping to charter local vessel the MV Maggie Rose to recover the kayak. Mr Donaldson is on board and hopes to pick up and transport back to Takaka.

One of his support crew, John Funnell, said he has been buoyed by the support of people in New Zealand since his return.

Mr Funnell said he is in remarkably good spirits and is looking forward to being reunited with his kayak.