Drone Photographer Looks for Seals and Ends Up Saving Capsized Kayaker

A kayaker in water.

A quiet outing with his dogs and drone turned into a rescue mission for one life-saving photographer.

Mike Busch planned to take his dogs to the beach when he first noticed two kayakers in the water, the Long Island Press reports. On his Great South Bay Images Facebook page, Busch said he was looking for some seals to capture with his drone and went on his way. It wasn’t until another kayaker approached and asked if Busch had seen his friend that the photographer decided to zoom out with his drone, spotting the capsized kayaker.

“I immediately called 911 thinking the Coast Guard at Moriches would be right out. As soon as he hit the breakers he disappeared. I offered to take my drone out to keep an eye on his location and they said go for it. He ended up drifting due south at least a half mile,” Busch said in a Facebook post.

He added that he stayed at the scene until the Suffolk County Police eventually arrived, but he was preparing for the worst.

“At this point, I thought it was going to be a recovery and not a rescue,” Busch continued. “Finally, after at least half an hour the Eastport FD boat came out and fished him out. The police Mike boat came all the way from Ocean Beach and pulled his kayak out. The guy was airlifted to Stony Brook and apparently is fine! If he didn’t have a dry suit on he would have been a goner.”

In an Instagram post, the drone photographer said rescuers showed up in about 15 minutes and that Suffolk Police even got the kayak back.

“I never would have posted this video if he didn’t make it,” Busch said in another post. “When [I] think of all the variables that came into place to be able to call this in it boggles the mind. If I had been there five minutes later it probably doesn’t end well.”

The kayaker, according to the Long Island Press, is expected to make a full recovery after being airlifted to a nearby hospital.

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.