Skegness RNLI volunteer crews in search for missing kayaker.
Both of the town's RNLI lifeboats were launched early yesterday evening (23 April 2017) to search for a male, separated from his partner and kayak for over 40 minutes.
The UK Coastguard requested that both the D-class inshore lifeboat and the station's new Shannon class all-weather lifeboat launch to search for the missing man when he was reportedly unable to get back in to his kayak after falling in the water.
The 40-year-old man was on a recreational outing with his wife when he fell overboard and was then subsequently separated from the relative safety of the kayaks as the stiff offshore wind blew the craft and remaining person steadily away from him.
The inshore lifeboat was first on scene (approx. 1 mile out to sea) arriving to find the sole remaining member of the pair being blown further eastward on the evening's stiff westerly offshore wind, the empty kayak alongside.
The Coastguard Search and Rescue Helicopter based at Humberside Airport was also tasked to join the search.
Volunteer crews on the station's new all-weather Shannon class lifeboat came to the aid of the drifting female whilst the inshore lifeboat proceeded to search for the missing man.
After a brief search a second 999 call to the UK Coastguard from a member of the public gave the casualties position as approx. 500 meters offshore from the Seaview Road area of the town.
The casualty was quickly located by the team in the inshore lifeboat and was medically assessed. He was then transferred ashore to the lifeboat station for some dry clothes and a cup of tea. He had been in the water for approximately 40 minutes. He was reunited shortly afterwards with the female and the two recovered kayaks shortly after 8 pm. The Coastguard Search and Rescue Helicopter was stood down and returned to Humberside Airport shortly before arriving at the scene.
All were safe and sound if a little cold. But this could have ended very differently.
The fact that the pair were well equipped in wet suits and life preservers meant that the casualty could stay afloat until our crews could come to his aid.
It's vital if you use the water for recreation that you:
A) Wear adequate equipment
B) Tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to return
C) Have a method of calling for help, a VHF radio is the best option. Mobile phones are not reliable at sea.
D) In an emergency at sea always dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
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.