Kayaker lost at sea uses a photo of his son to direct rescuers the right way

December 13, 2017 4:05 pm Last Updated: December 13, 2017 4:19 pm

A man who goes by  on imgur recently posted about a scary situation he found himself in. He calls himself an avid kayaker, but when a day trip off the coast of Massachusetts left him exhausted, soaking wet, and lost, there was only one thing he could do to stay alive—focus on the photo of his son on his phone’s lock screen.

The man, who wrote that he’s from Winthrop, Massachusetts, planned a kayaking trip to one of several islands off the coast.

In preparation for his trip he sent a friend a map of his intended route.


The day he chose to explore one of the islands appeared to be perfect.

“The water was as smooth as glass when I started and the weather forecast online showed no major changes,” he wrote on imgur.

He packed his bags, including an extra one, which he says he always makes sure to bring, and headed out into the Atlantic Ocean.

Although the wind changed during his trip he was able to make decent time.


While kayaking across the ocean he noticed a “slight” change in the wind, but was still able to make it the approximate five miles to one of the islands in about two and a half hours.

When he finally got to Great Brewster Island he explored the island and took a few photos and video of his findings.

He returned to his kayak and found that two of his bags had been blown into the water. Although the weather still looked relatively calm, he knew it would be wise to start on his return trip.

After calling his friend to figure out a quick route back he set out into the ocean.

About 30 minutes into the avid kayaker’s return trip things started to get difficult. He spent the next two and a half hours trying to get past a buoy, but barely made any progress. He wrote that because of the current he was also unable to return to the island.

At this point it was dark and he was quickly running out of options. He had already capsized twice and whatever he hadn’t lost in the water was soaking wet, including his phone.

During his struggle he took a frightening short clip of what could have been his last moments.


Despite extreme fatigue and a wet phone, which made it “next to impossible,” he was able to call 911.

“I’m not one to ever panic but I realized it was bad,” he wrote.

The 911 dispatcher put him in contact with the Coast Guard command center and he somehow managed to give them directions to his location. The only thing was that they had to hurry.

“I figured I had about twenty minutes tops to live because it was getting worse and worse,” he recalled of the terrifying ordeal. “My fingers were raw through the skin and my body ached from desperate rowing for now nearly three hours straight.”

As the Coast Guard neared him the only light he had came from his phone’s lock screen.


Finally a rescue boat made it’s way towards the kayaker, but he had no way of signaling to them. All he had was his phone, but he couldn’t get it to function properly.

The only thing he was able to get his phone to do was show its lock screen, which was a photo of his 1-year-old son.

“I held up the picture and right as I was bracing to be thrown over I heard their voices,” he wrote.

A few minutes later he was safely onboard the Coast Guard’s rescue boat.


Justsomeinspiration wrote that after he was pulled from the Atlantic Ocean he spent about an hour with his rescuers celebrating what could have been the end.

To show how grateful he was for his rescuers, the kayaker wrote that he planned to take them and their families out to dinner.

He was extremely grateful for their help.