Retired engineer Aleksander Doba experienced a strange encounter during his second solo transatlantic kayak expedition. According to journalist Amy Bucci, the U.S. Coast Guard received an apparent distress signal from Mr. Doba’s solitary vessel in the middle of the vast Atlantic Ocean.
When the patrol arrived, Mr. Doba appeared “completely surprised.” Apparently, he pressed the alarm button by mistake.
He, according to Bucci, “politely waved them on, telling them that he was doing fine, and wanted to keep the integrity of his solo, unaided expedition intact..”
Bucci, a reporter for National Geographic, posted her latest update on 25 January 2014.
The 67-year-old Polish kayaker left Lisbon, Portugal on 6 October 2013. He expects to arrive at his destination in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, USA around Valentine’s Day 2014.
Since leaving Lisbon, Mr. Doba has experienced raging seas, frigid weather, saltwater exposure and equipment failure.
He has not been able to text or talk to his family and friends since 20 December 2013. Although unexpected and perhaps unwanted, the sudden appearance of the U.S. Coast Guard might have given a slight degree of comfort to a man alone at sea for so many days and nights.
According to Amy Bucci, since he is unable to communicate (except by Twitter) those close to Mr. Doba worry about his mental state. However, Mr. Doba’s friend, Andrzej Arminski believes that Aleksander has what it takes to survive.
“I have met dozens of tough sailors in my sailing and yacht building career, but Olek is way tougher than all of them.”
Nevertheless, Global Rescue has agreed to assist in case of emergency.