A kayaker who came close to freezing to death after he capsized off the Safety Bay coastline yesterday has thanked the brave rescuers who saved him from a watery grave. Steven Lin, 62, made the day trip from his home in Canning Vale to fish for squid and whiting in the Cockburn Sound about 500m offshore. At 4pm, Mr Lin said he started to head back to shore. “There was a sandbar. I saw some waves going through but it looked OK for me to go through. That was the biggest mistake I made,” he said. “A wave came in and knocked me off the kayak. I managed to get back on board first time (after 30 minutes in the water), get my bearings back and paddle for maybe 50m, but got knocked off a second time. “By then, because I had already been exposed to the cold water, I was shivering and didn’t have the energy to get back on... I was in shock.” Mr Lin said it was at this moment he decided to activate his life jacket and a personal locator beacon — which he always carries with him — to call for aid. At 5.45pm, the team at Marine Rescue Rockingham were advised by Fremantle water police the beacon had been activated and headed out to find Mr Lin, alongside an RAC helicopter crew. “I could feel my leg was pretty painful, I was losing sensation in my legs and my fingers were getting cramps,” Mr Lin said. “I was holding the kayak but the waves were pounding me against it and I didn’t want to get any cuts, because if I got cuts the sharks could be around soon, so that’s when I released the kayak.” Mr Lin said he then tried to swim towards the shore, which he was was an “impossible task.” When the rescue boat showed up, he said he had been incredibly thankful. “I was shaking, trembling like mad. It was very dark and I felt like I was losing consciousness, I felt very tired,” he said. “The first question the rescue team asked me was ‘can you climb on board’. I said no way, I couldn’t even move my legs.” Marine Rescue Rockingham commander Graham Martin said the crew had then used a spinal board to help lift Mr Lin out the water. “Night rescues are always very challenging, it is hard to see out there. The PLB told us exactly where he was and we were able to get to him quick,” he said. “We wrapped him up in a blanket and put him inside the cabin and made sure he was all right, one of our crew talked to him right through the whole incident.” Water Police Sergeant Paul Crawshaw said the rescue had been so successful due to Mr Lin carrying all the right equipment. “He had done everything right. He had a PLB handy which was really the thing that saved his life,” he said. “The signal was received by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority in Canberra. They contact water police in North Fremantle, and we immediately activated the Rockingham Marine Rescue vessel and tasked them to the scene, as well as the RAC rescue helicopter.” Mr Lin said he was incredibly grateful for all involved who had helped ensure his safety.