62-year-old kayaker rescued off Maui after hours-long ordeal in - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

62-year-old kayaker rescued off Maui after hours-long ordeal in rough seas

(Image: US Coast Guard) (Image: US Coast Guard)

A 62-year-old kayaker who went missing off Maui on Sunday afternoon was rescued after fending off big waves and strong winds for more than nine hours.

Coast Guard crews spotted the kayaker, identified as Jill Lee, about a quarter-mile off Maui about 12:45 a.m. Monday. She was swimming with her kayak in tow. 

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter also searching in the area was able to rescue her and take her to Camp Olowalu. She refused further medical attention.

The search for Lee started Sunday afternoon after she and a friend got into trouble while kayaking.

Rough seas separated the two, and a search was launched.

“Sunday was initially flat calm, but the weather conditions changed significantly in less than 20 minutes due to a storm squall,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Thomas Geary, coxswain Coast Guard Station Maui, in a news release.

"It made all the difference that someone knew she was out on the water, cared enough about her to call it in and despite losing her paddle she had the good sense to stay with her kayak. Our crew initially located her in the dark by the outline of her kayak on the radar."

This story will be updated.

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