West Kirby RNLI launched to search for kayakers in trouble
West Kirby RNLI was tasked by HM Coastguard at 3:33pm yesterday to reports of two kayakers in difficulty in the estuary.
The volunteer crew launched within 10 minutes and upon finding an empty kayak West Kirby RNLI requested the launch of Hoylake RNLI’s hovercraft and the HM Coastguard helicopter. West Kirby RNLI commenced a search pattern to attempt to locate the casualty as did Hoylake RNLI’s hovercraft from the opening of the estuary adjacent to Hilbre Island. Flint RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was also launched and a search of the Welsh side of the estuary carried out. West Kirby RNLI’s BV tractor searched the waterline alongside a search of the shoreline by local HM Coastguard units.
One casualty returned to shore unaided and the second casualty was located by HM Coastguard helicopter who immediately transferred this casualty to a hospital in Liverpool.
Speaking following the call out, Richard Diamond, West Kirby RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘We would encourage people to carry a means of calling for help and keep it on you. If you find yourself in the water unexpectedly, fight your instincts and float until the effects of the cold water shock pass. Float to live.”
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.