Coast Guard launches to rescue French kayaker in Bering Sea

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Coast Guard assets are en route to rescue a French kayaker 40 miles north of St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea Saturday.

Jean Gabriel Chelala, 28, of France, reportedly attempting to circumnavigate the world under his own power, departed Emmonak June 27 for Gambell in a specially designed kayak. Chelala reportedly missed Gambell and contacted Alaska State Troopers for assistance Saturday.

Troopers contacted the Coast Guard Saturday morning to relay Chelala’s request for assistance. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and an HC-130 rescue plane from Air Station Kodiak have launched and are en route Chelala’s location.

Emmonak is 480 miles northeast of Anchorage, rescue aircraft crews are expected on scene mid-afternoon. On scene weather is reportedly winds from the south at 23 mph with seas to six feet.

Chelala is reportedly in good condition.

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