Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboats launch to assist woman injured in kayak accident
Ilfracombe RNLI launched on Saturday 27 July to assist an injured woman with a suspected dislocated knee who was stranded on a remote beach near Sandy Cove following a kayak accident.
The volunteer crew launched the Shannon class all-weather lifeboat The Barry and Peggy High Foundation and the D class inshore lifeboat (ILB) the Deborah Brown II just after 2.15 p.m. and made good progress out to sea with conditions choppy with a large swell near the beach. The lifeboats arrived on scene at the remote beach just west of Sandy Cove just five minutes later.
The woman, Jenny-Marie Taylor, 33, from Barnstaple who is an experienced kayaker, was out kayaking when she and her companion stopped at the beach, which is not accessible by land, for lunch. However, as she tried to take her kayak out of the water a large wave hit the kayak and knocked her into the water, severely injuring her knee.
On arriving at the beach the ILB lifeboat crew found Jenny-Marie in severe pain from the injury. The ILB then transferred a crew member from the all-weather lifeboat to the beach with a stretcher and medical supplies. The crew administered pain-killing gas and emergency first aid before transferring her on the stretcher, onto the all-weather lifeboat. The lifeboat then made its way carefully through the choppy waves to the Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboat station arriving at just after 3.00 p.m.
Once at the lifeboat station one of the station’s trained medical staff attended to her whilst waiting for the ambulance. When the ambulance arrived she was transferred to North Devon District Hospital for treatment.
Jenny-Marie, who is now recovering, later sent a message thanking the Ilfracombe RNLI crew. She said: ‘my kayak was turned over and I badly hurt my knee and was in a lot of pain, I couldn't even stand and I went into shock, but I have never met people more professional in the whole of my life. I just want to thank you for everything you did for me from the point of getting to me, to the point I went unconscious, you were amazing and we're so lucky to have people like you that save lives every day. I will be forever grateful.’
Ilfracombe Volunteer Coxswain Andrew Bengey says: ‘kayaking is becoming an increasingly popular sport and many people enjoy exploring the beautiful North Devon coastline. However, we strongly recommend that when out kayaking you always carry a means of calling for help and make sure that it is accessible. Thankfully today the kayakers were able to call for help and we were able to get to the casualty very quickly.’
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 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.