Ilfracombe RNLI launch to report of three kayaks in difficulty

Lifeboats News Release

The Ilfracombe RNLI volunteer crew launched at 5.50 p.m. on Friday 14 August following a report from a local charter vessel that three kayaks were in difficulty in strong tides at Burrow Nose, between Watermouth harbour and Broadsands.

three crew in the inshore lifeboat head out to sea

RNLI/Nikki Bradshaw

Ilfracombe inshore lifeboat launches to assist kayakers

The D Class inshore lifeboat the Deborah Brown II quickly made its way in good conditions with little wind and a slight sea, to arrive on scene five minutes later. The crew then found three inflatable kayaks with three adults and five children on board resting in a gully.

The RNLI lifeboat Helm, Matt Glubb made contact with the group to see if they required assistance. The group were making their way along the coast and planning to return to Broadsands beach using an electric outboard engine on one of the kayaks. However the engine had failed and the group were having to paddle against the tide. The lifeboat crew offered to tow the group back to the beach rather than fight the tide. The group agreed and all three kayaks were then towed back to Broadsands arriving safely back in the bay 10 minutes later. The short trip back was brightened up when the crew spotted a small pod of dolphins on the journey.

RNLI Volunteer Helm Matt Glubb says: ‘The people today were all wearing buoyancy aids and were well prepared for the tide with the outboard motor and a back up plan of going with the tide to Watermouth Harbour if necessary. Unfortunately their engine failed so they were trying to paddle against the tide which is very tiring. If people are planning to head out on kayaks or other watercraft we would always recommend wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aids and carry a means of calling for help. We would also recommend that people check the tide timetables and weather conditions before setting out.’

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.

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