RNLI New Brighton lifeboat crew tasked to casualty after kayak capsizes
RNLI volunteers were called by UK Coastguard at 6.30pm on 8 July 2018 to a male in the water after his kayak capsized in choppy conditions by New Brighton lighthouse.
Within 15 minutes of pagers sounding, RNLI lifeboat volunteers had found the 55-year-old man – who was thought to have been in the water for around 40 minutes – and returned him to the on-shore Wirral Coastguard team.
The casualty was taken to hospital for precautionary checks due to the length of time he had been in the river. These assessments found no ill effects and the man returned home.
RNLI Lifeboat Helm Dan Wardle said: 'We are delighted we reached this kayaker in time. Although sea and wind conditions were calm throughout the day, often when a cooler evening follows the hot days we’ve been getting, it kicks up a sea breeze which can result in choppier seas than forecast.
'It is to the casualty’s credit that he was wearing a lifejacket. This, combined with an incoming tide that means he wasn’t taken out to sea, saved him. Otherwise the outcome would likely have been a lot more serious.’
RNLI figures show that of 16 fatalities recorded between 2010 and 2013 involving kayaks or canoes, none of the casualties had been able to call for help themselves.
In most capsizing cases, the paddler could not get back into the kayak and remained in the water for at least an hour. And most rely on someone else raising the alarm.
As well as always having a means of calling for help and ensuring it is within reach when needed, kayakers are advised to wear personal flotation devices as an extra precaution.
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, in a normal year, 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.