A MUSIC fan had to be airlifted to safety just hours after setting off to paddle 220 miles to the Glastonbury festival by kayak.

Yacht rigger Simon Whitehouse had been confident that his makeshift modified kayak would get him to the festival in safety.

But five hours after setting off at 6am on Tuesday, coastguards received a weak mayday signal from his boat, Pablo Honey, saying he was waterlogged and sinking.

He was winched to safety by the RAF Rescue Helicopter, while Burnham RNLI Inshore Lifeboat recovered his kayak, which was six miles off the entrance to the River Crouch.

Simon said: “The conditions were getting worse and worse, and it got to the point where I was not able to carry on. The boat was full of water, and it was coming in faster than I could get it out, so I had to call for help.”

He videoed his rescue, which he described as “a lot of fun.”

He said: “I found it totally enjoyable.

“Going up on a wire into the helicopter is something I have always wanted to do. It was not the right circumstances, but it was a life-long ambition fulfilled.”

Despite the setback, the 29-year-old plans to set off again for another attempt.

After losing two days, Simon is now planing a cut-back 140 mile version of the trip, starting from London.