In the latest issue of Sea Kayaker (April 2013) there is a report in the "Safety" section about a couple of friends who go paddling on the coast of Newfoundland and one of them is lost. It is a very tragic story, but a few details are somewhat vague. First, either the wind was actually much stronger than the report seems to indicate, or the paddlers just weren't paying attention. An offshore wind strong enough to produce capsizing waves 300 feet from shore, must have been strong enough to cause any prudent paddler to be on alert. To be fair, the more experienced paddler reportedly was concerned, while the less experienced fellow seems oblivious until he gets into trouble.
Somehow, both paddler's pumps are lost in the assisted rescue. From there it's all downhill and the capsizee seems to have been completely useless. It all comes off just a bit too sketchy. I don't mean in any way to suggest that the story was less than true, but the intensity of the situation doesn't come across at the time of the initial capsize. Either the wind and waves suddenly increased in a matter of seconds--which is possible--in which case again I would have to say they weren't paying enough heed to conditions.
In any event, the report serves as a reminder that we are always vulnerable in our little boats on big water and should never underestimate the elements and never overestimate our abilities.