Capt. Hollywood, the kayakers from the article went outside the reef during bad weather and were thrown on the reef by the waves. Kayaking outside reef is very dangerous and should never be done, even during calm weather because the current can make it impossible to enter again.
JGambill, at the mooring buoys the water is about 10 feet deep, deepest spot 15 feet. Obviously never go outside the reef. Best to practice getting in the kayak close to the coast, because stepping on the coral is a big no-no as you damage the coral and might hurt yourself. The best way to get back into the kayak is keeping your fins on and use them to thrust out of the water and sit down sideways between your hands on the kayak. Then move one leg over the kayak and take your fins off.