The accident scene was about a mile from where I found Barney swimming. Our guess is that he was so freaked out and traumatized that he just wanted to get as far away from there as possible. And when he ran out of land, he took to the water. Another credible hypothesis is that he swam towards the kayak because the Chens are avid kayakers, and actually have two yellow ones.
Whatever the case, I feel lucky that I was there fishing, because there was no place for him to go and I don't know if he could have made it much farther. He's banged up, but mostly fine. Our hearts go out to the Chen family, who lost their mother.
UPDATE 2: Many people have asked what they can do in light of this terrible tragedy. I have been in touch with the Chen family. They suggested (and I wholeheartedly second) that you make a donation to Mothers Against Drunk Driving in the name of "Donna and Barney Chen" to help prevent this from happening again. Here's the link: http://www.madd.org/donate/
NOTES: * Yes, Barney is back with his family. I imagine they need him pretty bad right now. Dr. Chen reports that after the accident, Barney was suffering from what he thinks is something akin to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He was uncharacteristically lethargic, and they have even had to carry him outside. He seems to be pulling out of it a bit though. * Why is there a camera running? I usually keep a camera running when I fish, in case I catch the big one. It does happen, occasionally (see other videos in my profile if you are interested) * The kayak is a Hobie Adventure. It is a kayak made specifically for fishing. When turned down, the side floats allow me to stand up and fish. * My brother got my mom some shamwows a couple years back as a gag gift. As corny as they are, they actually are pretty nice for fishing