Lowestoft RNLI lifeboat called to help exhausted kayaker

Lifeboats News Release

HM Coastguard Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre requested the launch of Lowestoft RNLI’s all weather lifeboat at 3.21 this afternoon (Sunday 8 May 2016) to go to the aid of a kayaker in difficulty.

Coxswain John Fox and the volunteer crew were called out after the security staff at Sembmarine SLP, whose engineering and construction yard borders the shoreline at Lowestoft, spotted a male in a kayak who seemed to be in difficulty in the sea.

The Shannon class lifeboat ‘Patsy Knight’ was soon alongside the kayak, which by this time was a quarter of a mile off the harbour entrance and close to the edge of the Newcome sandbank.

Coxswain Fox said “when we asked the man in the kayak if he needed help he said that he was exhausted after struggling to paddle against the tide. He willingly accepted our offer to take him and his kayak back to the harbour.”

“The shattered kayaker told us that he had launched from the beach at Pakefield and had headed north. He then turned around to head back to his launch point but had misjudged the strength of the tide.

We picked up both the male, who appeared to be around 40 years old and his wave-rider style kayak and when safely on board we transported them back to the lifeboat station. There the RNLI crew gave him a warming drink and he was checked over by the Ambulance service.”

​Mr. Fox added, “He was one of the most grateful people that we have ever rescued!”


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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.

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