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St Agnes RNLI lifeboat launched in aid of a solo kayaker in difficulty

Lifeboats News Release

The St Agnes inshore lifeboat Xkalibur was launched last night (30 July) following reports of a man spotted out to sea in the water off the coast of St Agnes.


St Agnes inshore lifeboat volunteer crew with the casualty as he is brought back to the station.

Launched at 7.12pm, the volunteer crew of Helm Gavin Forehead, Adam Garland and Jamie Barton responded to the call and proceeded in a search of the area given in an attempt to locate the person in the water. Sea conditions were a 2m swell and the visibility was good, with westerly force 4-5 winds.

The St Agnes RNLI lifeboat crew located the man in the water at 7.24pm. The casualty had been out fishing alone and fallen off his kayak. He was unable to get back onto his kayak as it appeared to be taking on water and sinking.

The casualty, in his 40s, was on holiday and had been adrift at sea for approximately 30 minutes, before being spotted. He was wearing wet weather clothing and a buoyancy aid, but didn't have any means of alerting anyone to his distress situation. Fortunately, he had been observed and monitored by two National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) watch keepers, Mathew Hurst and Jon Macleod, in their lookout on St Agnes Head.

When the lifeboat crew recovered the casualty, they wrapped him in insulating sheets and administered oxygen and medication to prevent him from deterioration. They conveyed him in the St Agnes Lifeboat back to Trevaunance Cove at 7.30pm. He was handed over to the care of paramedics from the South Western Ambulance Service.

The St Agnes RNLI inshore lifeboat was back on standby at 8.20pm.

His kayak was washed up 5 miles away at Perran Sands this morning.

The RNLI would like to take this opportunity to highlight the Sea Safety for Kayakers information, which can be found on the RNLI website at:

RNLI notes to editors

The enclosed photograph shows off duty lifeguard Robin Howell after finding the kayak at Perran Sands and the paddles in Penhale Corner this morning.

RNLI media contacts

For more information, interviews or photo opportunities, please telephone Paul Kimberley, St.Agnes RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer on 07976737761 or


The casualty with his son as he is brought back to the station.

RNLI/Carrie Garad

Kayaker Justin Ferguson thanks RNLI St Agnes lifeboat Helm Gavin Forehead


The casualty with a thankful smile on his face as he is treated by a paramedic.

RNLI/Carrie Garrad

Matthew Hurst (NCI), Paul Kimberley (RNLI crew member), Dave Ruse (RNLI shore crew), Lisa Ferguson, Jacob Ferguson, Justin Ferguson, Gavin Forehead (RNLI Lifeboat Helm), Jon (NCI).

RNLI/Carrie Garrad

RNLI lifeboat crew member Paul Kimberley offers safety advice to kayaker Justin Ferguson and his son Jacob.

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.

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