Sophie Ryan

Sophie Ryan is an NZME. News Service reporter.

Trans-Tasman kayaker makes good progress

Scott Donaldson has been attempting to row solo across the Tasman, but has been hampered by bad weather and a lack of supplies. Photo / Double Ditch
Scott Donaldson has been attempting to row solo across the Tasman, but has been hampered by bad weather and a lack of supplies. Photo / Double Ditch

A kayaker attempting his second crossing of the Tasman Sea is making good progress despite his kayak taking on water yesterday.

Scott Donaldson is paddling from Australia to New Zealand, and started his journey in Coffs Harbour on April 19.

Rescue helicopter pilot John Funnell has dropped two loads of emergency food, water and a repair kit to Mr Donaldson over the last two weeks, since bad weather and a broken rudder slowed his journey and ran his food and water supplies dangerously low.

Mr Funnell said Mr Donaldson tried to replace the rudder, but in the process a bolt came out and water leaked in to the kayak.

It took him two hours to bail out all of the water.

Despite the setback, Mr Funnell said the weather had seen the adventurer make good progress.

"At 8am this morning he was 175 nautical miles off the Taranaki coast ... he's making good progress."

Mr Funnell said after the failed attempt to fix the broken rudder Mr Donaldson had decided it was too risky to try again.

"The final straw was the water that leaked in ... he'll have to go on without [a rudder]," he said.

Mr Funnell said Mr Donaldson was expected to progress 40 nautical miles today.

Mr Donaldson is expected to reach New Plymouth next Sunday, depending on weather conditions.

- APNZ

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