Kayaker given new boat after his was stolen in Memphis

Kayaker given new boat after his was stolen in Memphis

(WMC-TV) - A Memphis company is helping a stranded kayaker, who became the victim of a crook.

David Stewart planned to paddle the length of the Mississippi River. That was the plan until he reported his kayak stolen in Memphis.

But Stewart's story has a happy ending.

He is on a year-long kayaking trip from Lake Atoska, Minnesota to Costa Rica. But in Memphis, Stewart's trip hit an unexpected rapid when someone stole his boat from the edge of Wolf River Harbor.

"I just felt like I was going to be a failure, you know, like I was gonna go home with not completing my goal. So I just felt empty," said Stewart.

The ink had barely dried on the original newspaper article when Joe Royer and his staff at Outdoors, Inc. delivered Stewart another steal.

"Everyone agreed, we've got to give this guy a kayak and the same kind he had. We had one in stock. Very similar. Same brand, and it was just a unanimous decision," said Royer.

"I'm kinda like shaking right now, just because I'm so happy," said Stewart, who is originally from St. George, Utah.

Stewart plans to hit the water in his new boat as soon as possible. When he pushes off from the bluff, he says he will do so with nothing but positive feelings.

"I'm just so overwhelmed by the generosity of Memphis, all the people," he said.

In addition to the kayak, others donated outdoor gear to replenish the rest of the items that were stolen from Stewart.

He says he does not plan on leaving his new gear unattended for any length of time.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.