McAuley was attempting to be the first solo paddler to cross the tumultuous
1600km (1,000-mile) Tasman Sea between Tasmania and New Zealand.
Late Friday (Feb. 9) The New Zealand Rescue Coordination Center received a garbled
message but could not confirm it was from McAuley. Searchers found his
overturned kayak Saturday evening. His life vest and dry suit were not in the
kayak, leaving some hope that he may be found alive.
On Tuesday, Feb. 13, McAuley ‘s blog, www.andrewmcauley.com, still carried
the tantalizing headline, ETA Sunday! His last reported position was just 80
km from Milford Sound on New Zealand’s South Island. He left Tasmania on
McAuley was a veteran of open ocean crossings. He made the first ever
direct, non-stop crossing from mainland Australia to Tasmania in 2003 and in
2004 paddled 530 miles across the Gulf of Carpentaria. In 2006 he led a team on
an expedition to
the Antarctic Peninsula, paddling over 800km to the Antarctic Circle.
His family, including wife Vicki and 3-year-old son son Finlay, have
travelled to New Zealnd awaiting the results of the search.
A support fund has been set up to help Vicki McAuley and family following the tragic disappearance of Andrew McAuley.
New South Wales Sea Kayak Club