Local kayaker talks about near-death experience - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Local kayaker talks about near-death experience

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Daniel Dressel is an avid kayaker who enjoys venturing off the La Jolla coastline on his kayak at least twice a week. What was supposed to be a peaceful outing turned into a fight for his life last month when he was two miles from shore. 

"I kinda blacked out on the water. At that point I flipped over and when I came back to the surface, I was separated from my boat," said Dressel.

He tried to swim to his kayak, but the wind, cold water and strong swell made it nearly impossible for the 47-year-old to be reunited with his kayak.

"It just kept further drifting away," he said.

Dressel was equipped with only only a dry suit and life vest, but also a radio and tracking device called a Delorme Inreach Satellite Communicator. The device has "an SOS feature which will send a signal out, which will contact the Coast Guard or any search and rescue in the area."

The Delorme works anywhere in the world and it has the capacity to send text messages and emails. Dressel's distress call was received by the Coast Guard and they were able to alert other boats in the area.

Border Patrol agents responded the call and Dressel was able to use his radio to help guide them to him.

"I was able to vector them to me. Once I saw their boat, then it was going through my head that I might not make it through this. I was about as close to death as I want to come," he said. He hopes his story will serve as a reminder to always be prepared.

"The ocean is very unforgiving and you can very well die out there if you are not prepared," he said.

The device Dressel has costs about $300 dollars, and there is a monthly service charge. Another option is an EPIRB, also known as an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon.

Dressel said he has met one of the first responders who saved him.

The Coast Guard has also reached out and Dressel plans to get in contact with them soon.

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