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National Geographic to debut 'Solo: Lost at Sea' series on September 15

By Christopher Rocchio, 08/10/2008 

National Geographic Channel has announced Solo: Lost at Sea, a series that will document adventurer Andrew McAuley's attempt to become the first person to kayak solo from Australia to New Zealand, will premiere Monday, September 15 at 10PM ET/PT.

Solo: Lost at Sea will chronicle McAuley's journey as documented by a video camera mounted on the bow of his boat, which captured his own words and the strokes of his paddle as he attempted to survive wild storms, circling sharks and an exhausting month of paddling across the Tasman Sea. 

In addition, the series will also include interviews with his wife Vicki, his close friends, and archival news footage.

After McAuley failed in his first attempt to cross the Tasman in December 2006 due to hypothermia, he was determined to try again and did so in January 2007 using a kayak he crafted with a watertight cockpit canopy, which allowed him to sleep in the boat in any weather.

McAuley managed to survive several hardships during the month-long journey, including a huge storm that generated nearly 40-foot swells and winds gusting up to 70-miles per hour.  However, two days before the trip was expected to end on the New Zealand coast, authorities retrieved a garbled distress signal from a vessel identified as "Kayak One" -- with words deciphered as "my kayak's sinking." 

McAuley's kayak was subsequently found 50 miles off the New Zealand coast floating upside down.  His body was never recovered, and the series reveals that a broken hinge resulted in the watertight cockpit canopy filling with water on his final night.

Solo: Lost at Sea is produced for the National Geographic Channel by Essential Viewing Group.

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