Kayaker plucked to safety by Clacton and Harwich RNLI volunteers

Lifeguards News Release

On Thursday evening, a man clinging to an upturned kayak was rescued off Walton-on-the-Naze by RNLI volunteers from Clacton and Harwich.

Stephen Duncombe

Stock image of Clacton lifeboat

Just after 8pm Thursday 29 April, both Clacton and Harwich’s Atlantic class inshore lifeboats were requested by UK Coastguard to search for someone clinging to an upturned kayak north of Walton Pier.

RNLI Harwich’s lifeboat Tierney, Harvey, and Sonny Reid was first on scene, having been afloat on routine exercises, and pulled the man from the sea. They were shortly joined by Clacton’s lifeboat David Porter MPS, with a trained paramedic crew member onboard. It was deemed appropriate they take the lead in the care of the casualty, so transferred the paramedic to the Harwich lifeboat. The Clacton lifeboat then collected the kayak and took it to the beach.

The casualty was also taken to the beach and transferred to the care of the Walton Coastguard Rescue Team, and paramedics from the East of England Ambulance service. At which point both lifeboats were stood down and returned to their respective stations. With the Clacton lifeboat being recovered at 9.10pm.

A spokesperson for both crews wished the casualty a speedy recovery and commented: ‘Even though the training and collaboration between the two crews was a contributor in the good outcome, the biggest factor that made for such a good outcome in this case was that the kayaker was wearing a buoyancy aid.’ ‘We would recommend anyone going afloat wear a personal floatation device and carry a means of calling for help.’

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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