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Holyhead RNLI In Search For Kayaker

Lifeboats News Release

Both RNLI Holyhead lifeboats were involved in a multi-agency search for an overdue kayaker yesterday afternoon (Friday 9 August)

RNLI

Headcam photo from the inshore lifeboat during Friday's call.

Pagers initially sounded at 3.26pm, requesting the launch of the all-weather lifeboat, and five minutes later the launch of the inshore lifeboat was also requested to assist in the search.

Both lifeboats were quickly launched and headed to the Church Bay area, where the kayaker was last seen. A call had been made to the coastguard when the man had not returned at his expected time. Local volunteer cliff rescue teams were also called to assist in the operation, and the coastguard helicopter was also involved.

As the forecast was for deteriorating weather, with predicted high winds and rain, it was agreed to launch both lifeboats to give the best possible attention to the search.

The D-class lifeboat Mary and Archie Hooper conducted a close inshore search from Sandy Beach to Church Bay; and the Severn-class Christopher Pearce was positioned one mile off the Church Bay coast, searching in a northerly direction towards Carmel Head.

By the time the all-weather lifeboat had reached Carmel Head, Cemaes volunteer cliff rescue team reported a person, believed to be the missing kayaker, had been spotted walking on the beach, north of Church Bay. All units, including the coastguard helicopter, continued to search until it was later confirmed it was indeed the casualty, and he was safe and well.

Moelfre lifeboat Kiwi had also been called to assist in the search just after 4pm, but were stood down shortly after launch when the casualty was located and confirmed to be safe. They returned back to station by 4.30pm

Before returning to her berth at the port, Holyhead Coastguard requested that the Holyhead ALB remain in the area of Porth Y Nant, while the ILB was tasked to recover the kayak, which had been pulled up on the beach. However, after a risk assessment by ILB helm Dave Roberts, it was decided that the risk to crew in the worsening weather far outweighed the benefit of recovering the kayak.

Both Holyhead lifeboats returned to their berths just after 5pm, and were made ready for service at by 5.30pm.

Holyhead RNLI duty coxswain Brett Hughes said:

‘We were glad there was a successful outcome to the situation, and the kayaker managed to get back to shore. It was also good that he had given others an estimated time he should be back.’

He added,

‘However, we would advise that anyone wishing to head out around our coastline pays heed to the weather forecast and does not put themselves at any risk. The conditions we were searching in were poor; wind was at 25-35 knots, which is a force 7, and were worsening. We were glad the kayaker was located when he was.’

Lifeboat Operations Manager at Holyhead RNLI David Owens praised the crew who turned out for the search:

‘We have a great group of volunteers who will turn out in all weathers to help someone in need, and yesterday was no exception.’

For any further information, please contact Vicki Owens, Holyhead RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07531 681409, or email vickilou11@gmail.com

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Holyhead ILB volunteer crewman on Friday's call

RNLI/Beth Wilkinson

Looking back towards the inshore lifeboat, from the all-weather lifeboat

RNLI/Vicki Owens

Marine traffic map, showing the two Holyhead RNLI lifeboats searching (top right)

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 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.

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