St Ives RNLI lifeboat crew and Gwithan RNLI lifeguards rescue of three kayakers

Lifeboats News Release

At 4.32pm on Wednesday (15 August) both St Ives lifeboat crew and Gwithian lifeguards kicked into action to assist three males in need.

Coordinated by Falmouth Coastguard, the teams responded immediately. The St Ives lifeboat crew launched the in-shore lifeboat crew helmed by David Chard and the Gwithian lifeguards, Andrea Harvey and Guy Griffiths launched the Rescue Water Craft (RWC) to respond to the incident.

The three males who were on one kayak had underestimated the sea conditions off Godrevy lighthouse and needed assistance. Once both lifeboat and lifeguard teams were on the scene to assess and assist, all casualties were accounted for.

The St Ives in-shore lifeboat crew took two of the males on board and returned them to Gwithian beach and the lifeguard team followed suit with the other male. The in-shore lifeboat returned to St Ives station at 5.25pm and was readied for service.

James Perkin, volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager at St Ives RNLI, said: ‘This was a powerful example of two teams collaborating to provide a fault free rescue. Earlier this year both teams had indeed simulated this incident in operational training and it was great to see that put into real practice here.

‘The RNLI always advises kayakers no matter how experienced that they should always carry means of calling for help, wear a flotation device, check the weather and tides, tell someone where you are going and wear appropriate clothing for conditions.’

Ollie Shilston, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor for the Penwith area, adds: ‘The good spell of weather has meant we’ve had a busy few months on the beaches, with the lifeguards doing lots of assisted rescues. However the majority of the work the RNLI lifeguards have done is preventative, giving out safety advice, keeping bathers and surfers within their flagged zones, advising on tides and sea conditions, and generally pre-empting incidents before they happen.

‘This particular incident saw a great collaboration between the lifeguards and lifeboats and reemphasised the importance of the two teams working together to solve a difficult situation. The incident was a really good opportunity for the teams to put their training into practice and illustrated how important their roles are over the busy summer.’

Notes to Editors

  • RNLI lifeguards patrol over 249 beaches around the UK and Channel Islands

RNLI Media Contacts

For more information, please contact Niki Brooks, volunteer lifeboat press officer at St Ives RNLI, on 07384 756407 or Jessica Putt, Media Engagement Placement, at

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