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Hayling RNLI Lifeboat saves a kayaker on their first shout in 2018

Lifeboats News Release

On Friday 23 February a local man capsized from his kayak and the alarm was raised by dog walkers when he struggled to get back on board.

A photo of crew member Sharon Swan in her PPE kit in front of the inshore lifeboat used in the rescue.

RNLI/Alan Bartlett

Crew member Sharon Swan who attended the casualty

Solent Coastguard alerted the Hayling Island RNLI lifeboat station at 15:31 with a fresh easterly wind blowing and cold air and sea temperatures. Six minutes later the Atlantic 85 Lifeboat was on its way to a reported position in Hayling Bay opposite the Lifeboat Inn. The kayaker after struggling to get back into his kayak set off to swim ashore supported by his buoyancy aid but he quickly became tired in the cold water.

Dog walkers on the beach, who had dialled 999, entered the water to drag the exhausted casualty through the surf and to the shore. Sharon Swan, volunteer lifeboat crew member (pictured) was put ashore on arrival and realised very quickly that the man was suffering severe hypothermia. The helm on the lifeboat called the station paramedic to assist. They gave the man first aid treatment and an ambulance was called which fortunately arrived quickly on the scene. The man was immediately transferred to hospital where his core temperature was found to be below 30 deg C. He was kept in hospital until the following Monday when he was well enough to be discharged.

Sharon said of the rescue, ‘The casualty was in a very cold sea for some time and was lucky to survive. Whilst on the beach his wife was telling him off for going out in such cold conditions and we would echo that advice but we are all pleased that he was OK and that as an RNLI crew we could help to save a life.’

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