My subscription to the Times is paying off with some scandalous gossip.
This story leaves a lot of questions unanswered – but it appears to me that the man in the story was suicidal. I have taken a kayaking course myself – where I learned how to used plenty of safety equipment – so much that made it impossible for you to drown.
Starting at the top – a whitewater helmet, the same kind used by rafters. Then a flotation jacket with plenty of foam padding, in front and the back – including an extension at the back to protect your neck, and make you float face-up.
Then a skirt of neoprene rubber around your waist, that fits around the kayak opening – and prevents the entry of water into the kayak. Before getting in the kayak, you have so much protective equipment you can hardly walk. Once seated (with some assistance) you brace your knees against pads on either side, so you become part of the kayak itself.
You learn how to use the paddle to right the kayak in choppy water – and even turn it over in an Eskimo roll!
Evidently, the man had none of these. When he was tipped of of his kayak in freezing water – he asked his companion to call 911! She grabbed his paddle instead – and his body was never found.
And then she confessed everything!