Update: One Michigan kayaker missing, one found

CanWest News Service
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A Michigan kayaker missing off Newfoundland clung to his companion's craft for nearly two hours before succumbing to exhaustion, his daughter said Saturday night.
Carrie Fletcher said her father, David Gillette, 63, fell out of his kayak and into the frigid Atlantic near the Baie Verte Peninsula a total of five times as he and Jim Siegal, 62, battled the current and rough waves trying to get to shore.
"The first four times he got out and got back into the kayak," Fletcher said from Grand Rapids, Mich., where she and her father live.
"And I think it was around midnight that he fell out the fifth time and couldn't get back in. He didn't have the energy and he was so cold," she said.
Fletcher said it was incorrectly reported earlier Saturday that the two men, both experienced kayakers, had gone out for a midnight paddle.
"They left about 11:30 a.m. (ET) or so and had paddled around the area the day before and had a great day. But when they saw the water was a little choppier (Saturday) they decided to take only a short trip."
Those plans went wrong when conditions got worse, she said.
"After an hour they decided to come back and go back to their campsite. Then the weather got bad and the current got stronger and the waves got a little bit bigger. My dad's kayak flipped and he went into the water. He got out and got back into the kayak, but he was just freezing cold and weak from struggling," Fletcher said.
The two men tried desperately to get back to land.
"Jim was holding onto (her father's) kayak and he was holding on (too) just in the water and Jim was trying to paddle them," she said.
She said Siegal told her it was about 1:30 a.m. when her father slipped away and that for the last hour or so her father had been in and out of consciousness.
"He said he thought they were about a mile away (from shore) ... but he just couldn't hold on any more."
A military search-and-rescue helicopter located Siegal and two kayaks by midday Saturday on the shore of Horse Islands, off the northeast coast of Newfoundland.
Fletcher said her father, a retired plant engineer, was wearing a life-jacket and a "semi-dry suit" and thermal underwear, "but that's not going to help you much if you go in and you're in for a long period of time."
Fletcher said the RCMP and Canadian Coast Guard have been in touch with her and they said the search will resume Sunday.
"They said hope for the best, but definitely prepare for the worst. It's definitely not a good situation at all, especially since he was in and out of consciousness."

Organizations: RCMP, Canadian Coast Guard

Geographic location: Michigan, Newfoundland, Atlantic Grand Rapids, Mich. Horse Islands

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