View as PDF

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!”


Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland