Kayak for a veteran

Matt Hanrahan's sea kayak and all equipment other than what he was wearing was lost to the cliffs and unrelenting waves of the Tasman Peninsular on Sunday 4 Feb 18. His kayak broke in half and subsequently destroyed in the back of a 50+m deep cave near Thumb Point.

Matt  is one of our Mates currently sea kayaking from Hobart along the East coast of Tasmania.  He has been bitten by the sea kayaking bug and spent considerable time, effort and money in equipping himself and his newly acquired kayak with all the necessary safety equipment and fitout for long range expeditioning. 

His kayak above was only recently purchased as he planned to paddle across Bass Strait with others to raise awareness for our wounded, injured and ill veterans.

The group were exploring the cliffs and sea caves  on the Tasman peninsular in the vicinity of the Tasman Arch.  Most of the kayaks had filed through this cave. Whilst Matt was inside the sea cave a series of significant larger waves pushed both him and his supervising instructor deep into the back of the cave and behind breaking water.  Matt and Julz followed procedures and when not able to self-rescue and get the kayaks out, swam out of the cave.  Subsequently tethered rescue swimmers went in to recover the kayaks. During this time it is likely that Matt’s kayak cockpit was swamped and became heavy and water laden.  The extra weight was smashed by waves into the back of the cave and completely destroyed, unable to be recovered. 

This incident has resulted in Matt loosing his kayak and all his equipment and more importantly has impacted how they fitted into his future plans and dreams of paddling along our amazing coast lines and trips with mates.  Apart from the fact that he’s ex-Navy diver, (I’m Army so have to have a shot) he is a good bloke and goes out of his way to help others.  He’s active in the veteran community, tied in with the Bribie RSL and has supported others regularly.

Please help us, help him. We’re aiming to raise $5,000 to get him back on his feet (or into a kayak so to speak).

"This one got off lightly."

Smick - Mates4Mates Sea Kayaking Expedition Leader

Donations (42)

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  • Tony Hirst
    • $50 
    • 6 yrs
  • St Helens RSL members
    • $455 
    • 6 yrs
  • Neil Ruskin
    • $200 
    • 6 yrs
  • stephen knox
    • $100 
    • 6 yrs
  • Damian Strauss
    • $50 
    • 6 yrs
See all


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