Man first to travel Australian coastline in a kayak unsupported

Posted: 08/11/2011 in all marine news

News Today –

A plucky Brit has battled illness, injury and shark attacks to become the first man to circumnavigate the entirety of Australia completely unaided in a kayak.

Stuart Trueman, 48, completed his mammoth kayaking adventure on Thursday morning after a staggering 16 months on the water.

The kayak king, originally from Frisby-on-the-Wreake, Leicestershire, completed the 16,000 kilometre stretch two weeks ahead of schedule.

He was rewarded with an emotional reunion with wife Sharon, who paddled the last 4km by his side, as well as about 100 fans who gathered on Cable Beach in Broome, Western Australia, to applaud his astonishing efforts.

Since setting off from Broome in April, Stuart has undertaken an immense odyssey, paddling the coastline solo in his 5.2m kayak – which could only store five days water.

Stuart has battled through searing heat, freezing temperatures, storms and cyclones and faced sharks and crocodiles to complete his journey.

He also had to contend with bouts of food poisoning, hyperthermia, heatstroke, exhaustion, an infected spider bite, broken bone, torn ligament and a wrist injury which almost halted his entire trip.

“The crux of the trip had to be The Great Australian Bight which is said to be the longest line of sea cliffs in the world and is patrolled by Great White sharks,” said Stuart, who now lives in Sydney.

“To paddle for days without hope of resupplying my food and water in an area where the weather can turn and make the sea a dangerous place to be was the ultimate challenge.

“During a 35 hour paddle I got caught out by bad weather. Suffering from hypothermia and exhaustion I hallucinated and had a vivid out of body experience, which is as near to the limit as I wish to go.”

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