Coast Guard rescues man who had been clinging to overturned kayak in water for 3 1/2 hours

SEATTLE — Coast Guard crews rescued a 55-year-old man who had been clinging to his overturned kayak for three and a half hours in Baker Bay east of Ilwaco, the guard said.

A helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Astoria in Warrenton, Ore., hoisted the kayaker after spotting him in the bay around 8 p.m. Sunday and transferred him in good condition to waiting emergency medical service personnel, the Coast Guard said in a news release Monday night.

The Coast Guard said the kayaker's wife called stating she received a call from him via cellphone and all she heard was him yelling her name. The call dropped after several minutes and any further calls went straight to voicemail. She relayed that he usually kayaks between Ilwaco and Sand Island.

Boats were launched to search the area.

"The man was kite-powered kayaking when the nose of his kayak dove into a wave, causing the kite to fall into the water and turned it into a sea anchor," the news release said. "When this occurred he became tangled in the lines and was being pulled down. He was able to initially cut himself free using a dive knife and called his wife, but the kayak got overturned in the process, dumping out his flares and other equipment."

The Coast Guard said he was wearing his wet suit and life jacket, but should not have relied on a cell phone. He should have had a handheld VHF radio and personal emergency  position-indicating radio beacon, the guard said.

Weather on scene was 25 mph winds, with a 50 F water temperature and a 46 F air temperature, the guard said.