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Andrew McAuley is missing

This is horrible news. I am deeply concerned, but still hopeful that Andrew will be found.

From the Sunday Herald Sun, Victoria, Australia:

"Search continues for McAuley
February 11, 2007 08:01am

NEW Zealand rescuers will resume their search this morning for missing Australian kayaker Andrew McAuley.

The adventurer's upturned kayak was spotted by a New Zealand Air Force plane late yesterday afternoon in rough seas about 75 km off Milford Sound in the south island.

There was no sign of Mr McAuley.

His emergency locator beacon was still in the kayak but a life jacket and immersion suit were missing, sparking hopes that he may still be found alive.

Mr McAuley had been expected to arrive in Milford Sound today after leaving Tasmania on January 11 in a bid to become the first person to paddle across the Tasman in a kayak.

Concerns about his safety emerged after New Zealand maritime authorities picked up a garbled distress message on Friday night."

Adrew McAuley set out on January 11, 2007 to become the first person in history to kayak across the Tasman sea from Australia to New Zealand. Andrew modified his kayak by adding a fiberglass dome he called "casper" that fastens over the opening in the kayak so he can sleep. He capsized many times during his expedition, and the canopy cover seemed to do it's job well, keeping the sea water out and popping him up after every capsize.

images from Andrew McAuley.com

Andrew was scheduled to finish his 1600 kilometer journey from Tasmania today. The latest news is that searchers are optimistic that Andrew will be found, as his life jacket and immersion suit were not found in the kayak. Authorities say that people have survived long periods in the ocean, such as Robert Hewitt, who was found alive 72 hours after going into the water last year. The visibility is good and the search involves a plane and helicopter.

Latest news on the search for Andrew: http://www.kayakquixotica.com/blog.html

Andrew's Tasman Solo Expedition blog: http://www.andrewmcauley.com/

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