Following numerous reports from members of the public via 999 calls to HM Coastguard, Eastbourne RNLI’s inshore lifeboat (ILB) was requested to launch this morning (30th Aug) to assist two kayakers in severe difficulties off Cooden Beach.
One of the kayakers was seen to fall from his craft whilst the other was unable to do more than stand by. The volunteer ILB crew left their station at Fisherman’s Green but even at full speed were more than 10 minutes away from the casualties. Fortunately the Bexhill Sailing Club rescue boat was afloat and was made aware of the situation by local coastguards and they too made their way to the scene, arriving shortly before the lifeboat. Both casualties were taken ashore along with one of the kayaks; the other had already been washed out to sea in the offshore wind and was no longer in sight. With both casualties assessed as being well they were left in the care of Bexhill coastguards. The ILB then went in search of the missing kayak which was eventually found drifting two miles offshore, it was collected and returned to its owner ashore on Cooden beach.
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.