64 year old man rescued by Sunderland RNLI after his kayak capsizes

Lifeboats News Release

Three days after 12 volunteers at Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Station successfully completed the charity's Casualty Care training course; they were required to put their skills to the test for real.

Earlier this evening (Saturday 13 August) its volunteers were called into action following reports of man being stranded and drifting on top of his upturned kayak over a mile out to sea from Roker beach.


The rescue mission was launched shortly before 5:45pm when Coastguard Officers based at Humber Coastguard Marine Rescue Coordination Centre received a call from the kayaker reporting he had capsized and was unable to right the kayak. With the strong offshore wind he was concerned that he was being blown further offshore.

Officers immediately contacted Sunderland RNLI to request the launch of their D Class inshore lifeboat.

The lifeboat launched 7 minutes later crewed by Helmsman Sam Clow along with another two volunteer crew.

With assistance from RNLI lifeguard staff in the local Lifeguard Operations Centre at Roker, the volunteers quickly located the man drifting almost a mile off Roker beach.

Sam Clow, Helmsman at Sunderland RNLI said: ‘When we arrived the kayaker was lying across the capsized kayak keeping himself afloat as well as keeping his face clear of the water. Our immediate priority was to get him out of the water and start to warm him through.’

After pulling the casualty from the water and onto the lifeboat he was then assessed by one of the charities qualified casualty carers. During the journey back to the lifeboat station the man was continually assessed and treated for his exposure to the cold.

Once back in Sunderland Marina the casualty, a 64 year man from County Durham was handed over to Paramedics for further assessment and treatment.

Sam added: ‘Thankfully the kayaker was very well equipped so this bought him enough time for us to reach him and pull him from the water. Even with his buoyancy aid and protective clothing he was extremely cold when we pulled him from the water. Without this equipment and the swift joint response from emergency services he may not have been here to tell the tale.

The charity's ‘Casualty Care’ training course was developed by one of the charity's Sea Survival and First Aid Trainers at RNLI Headquarters, Poole. Instead of a traditional syllabus based on diagnosis, the new course is based on what the crew member sees and therefore knows - a symptom based approach. The course meets all the necessary criteria approved by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency [MCA] and is recognised by the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, and the Anaesthetic, Trauma and Critical Care Association.

As a registered charity the RNLI relies on voluntary donations and legacies from the public for its income.


RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone:

Paul Nicholson, Sunderland RNLI Press Officer on 07957 494 077 or email - pauldnich@yahoo.co.uk  or

As an alternative please contact Alison Levett, Media Relations Manager North on 07786 668 912 or alevett@rnli.org.uk

or RNLI Headquarters Public Relations on 01202 336000.

Notes to editors

• Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Station is the oldest continually operation lifeboat in the United Kingdom. It was originally opened in 1800 before being adopted by the RNLI in 1865.

• Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Station operates its own website www.rnlisunderland.org  where supporters can keep up to date with station specific activities.

• Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Station has a profile on Twitter (SunderlandRNLI) and Facebook (RNLI Sunderland) where supporters can keep up to date with station specific activities and news.

• Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Station operates two inshore type lifeboats: An Atlantic 85 8.3m inflatable capable of 35 knots and a D Class (IB-1) 4.5m inflatable capable of 25 knots.

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.