Kayaker trying to set world record rescued again - WNEM TV 5

Kayaker trying to set world record rescued again

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Source: Huron County Sheriff's Office Source: Huron County Sheriff's Office
HURON COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

A woman trying to set a world record could have her kayak confiscated after two separate distress calls this month in Huron County. 

Huron Central Dispatch received a 911 call about 5:25 p.m. Monday for reports of a kayaker in trouble over a mile offshore of Sleepers State Park in Lake Township.

Huron County Sheriff Kelly Hanson said when deputies arrived on scene they learned 52-year-old Traci Lynn Martin from Lee Summit, Missouri was attempting to set a world record.

The woman’s shore crew told deputies they lost sight of her in the fog, which was limiting visibility to less than an eighth of a mile.

An iPad that was tracking Martin reported she had stopped in ice for some time but was not traveling eastbound.

The kayaker’s crew told deputies she had set out from Grindstone before 8 a.m. Monday with Tawas as her destination, but difficulties arose with her navigational equipment.

Hanson said Martin was reluctant to give up, however she began heading back toward Grindstone, which was nearly 15 miles away.

“After finally returning one of the many cell calls from shore crew, she reported that she was cold and exhausted,” Hanson said.

Using the shore crew’s iPad for navigation, several deputies and conservation officers responded to the woman using an airboat to travel over two miles of broken ice and slush, Hanson said.

Martin was located about 7 p.m. Hanson said the woman was cold and hypothermic. She was taken back to shore where an ambulance was waiting.

“With the amount of daylight left and the distance she would have had to travel before she could have came ashore herself, her chance of survival was virtually nil. She was treated and refused further treatment,” Hanson said.

Hanson said a similar incident with Martin occurred on March 24, and she has now been warned another incident could lead to the confiscation of her kayak.

“With all due respect to the seasoned kayaker who had the courage and ambition to attempt such an accomplished goal, she was respectfully told that we will resort to confiscating her kayak or abandoning it in the water if another incident occurs under similar circumstances offshore of our county. I have also been in contact with Coast Guard officials who are also considering deterrent options as well. All involved, however, are glad that the outcome had an happy ending,” he said.

Martin is trying to set the world record for the most miles paddled by a woman in one year.

"I do not plan on going back out there under these conditions," Martin said.

She said for now she is heading back home to Kansas City.

"In about two weeks I'll come back and check out the situation. And if the ice is gone then I'll continue with it," she said.

She said she won't go back out onto the water until the ice is gone.

"I just want to say thank you to everyone that had to disrupt their lives both Friday and yesterday to come out and help me. And I really appreciate everything," Martin said.

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