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Challaborough RNLI lifeguards rescue three capsized kayakers

Lifeguards News Release

Challaborough RNLI lifeguards rescued three holiday makers after they capsized in big surf on Saturday 16 June. Having all capsized, one was clinging to their kayak, one was being washed dangerously close to rocks and another was stranded in the bay having lost their paddle.


Challaborough lifeguards Luke Lane-Prokopiou and Summer Hurrell

The three holiday makers set out from Challaborough beach at around 12:30pm on Saturday afternoon. Spotting the group battling against the surf, senior RNLI lifeguard Luke Lane-Prokopiou and colleague Summer Hurrell closely monitored them and radioed lifeguards at neighbouring Sedgewell Cove asking them to paddle out to give the men some safety advice.

At around 2pm, the group started to make their way back to Challaborough beach. As the tide had now dropped and the surf increased, in addition to the strong onshore wind, they found themselves in difficulty navigating around the point between Challaborough and Sedgewell.

Two of the kayaks overturned in the four foot surf, leaving one man clinging to his kayak and the other being washed against the rocks. Spotting them in danger, lifeguard Summer Hurrell immediately paddled out on a rescue board to the two casualties and assisted them away from the rocks and safely back to shore.

Whilst Summer was aiding the two casualties, the third kayaker across the opposite side of the bay also capsized and consequently lost his paddle. Seeing the stranded man, senior lifeguard Luke Lane-Prokopiou sprang into action and paddled out on a rescue board to assist him. Luke secured the casualty onto the rescue board and returned him to shore. Once ashore, the casualties were assessed for any injuries.

Luke Lane-Prokopiou, senior RNLI lifeguard at Challaborough, said:

‘This was a difficult situation for the group to find themselves in. The men were well prepared with the appropriate equipment and were all wearing buoyancy aids however the conditions were tricky with a big surf and strong winds. We always advise kayakers to listen to the safety advice given to them by the lifeguards and to keep an eye on the weather conditions and tide times when at sea.’

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 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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