Newcastle RNLI rescue man clinging to kayak
At 1.40pm today (Saturday 31 December) Newcastle RNLI was requested by Belfast Coastgaurd to launch to the aid of what was believed to be a dinghy in trouble a half mile south of Newcastle harbour.
However when the inshore lifeboat arrived on scene the crew discovered that the callout was to three kayakers in trouble, with one man found clinging to his kayak in the freezing water and unable to get to safety.
Newcastle RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew were quickly on scene once the call for help was received. They observed one kayak being towed by another but only one person was visible. On further investigation it was established there was one person in the water further along the shoreline.
The inshore lifeboat crew proceeded further south and located a male clinging to the front of his kayak unable to get to safety. The person was recovered from the freezing water onto the lifeboat and the crew carried out the RNLI’s ‘casualty care’ and returned to Newcastle Lifeboat Station to await the arrival of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.
The inshore lifeboat crew then went back to the scene to recover a further kayaker and his kayak while Newcastle Coastguard recovered a third casualty from the shore line. The casualties were transferred into the care of Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.
Alan Jones Newcastle RNLI lifeboat Helm said ‘Another five minutes and we could have been dealing with a completely different outcome. The water is absolutely freezing at this time of year.’
RNLI media contacts
For more information please telephone Nathan Leneghan, Newcastle RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07851264466, email Nathan_Leneghan @rnli.org.uk or contact Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Ireland on 00353876483547 or email Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager Ireland on 00 353 87 1254 124 or Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org.uk
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.