Thurso RNLI rescue stranded kayaker
Thurso RNLI lifeboat launched at 12.10pm on Saturday 27th April in response to reports of a lone kayaker stranded on rocks near Melvich.
The kayaker had activated his PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) which alerts the Coastguard to the emergency and pinpoints their exact location to allow help to get there as quickly as possible.
At 12.40, Thurso’s all-weather lifeboat, The Taylors, arrived on scene. The stations smaller, more agile inflatable Y boat with two volunteer crew members trained in Casualty Care was launch and proceeded ashore. They took the boat close to the male casualty and put the front of the Y boat onto a sloping rock. The man was then assisted into the Y boat. The crew retrieved the kayak and returned to the sanctuary of the all-weather lifeboat.
The kayaker had been hit by a wave, thrown out of the kayak and after several attempts was unable to get back in, so decided to swim to the rocks.
The kayak was taken on board the lifeboat and returned to Scrabster.
When back at Scrabster, the casualty was checked over the by the Scottish Ambulance Service and later allowed home.
RNLI Coxswain Dougie Munro said ‘This is a great example of the importance of carrying a means for calling for help, such as a PLB. Because of the kayakers preparations, the locator beacon directed us straight to him. He who was exhausted and suffering the effects of being in the cold water. Time was important and any delay in finding him might have led to a different outcome’.
This emergency highlights the importance of PLBs, especially when alone. Always carry that means to call for help and carry it on your person and within reach at all times.
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.