West Kirby RNLI called to assist canoeist

Lifeboats News Release

West Kirby RNLI launched to provide assistance to a canoeist struggling in challenging and choppy conditions at the north end of Hilbre Island.

RNLI/David Edwards

The volunteer crew at West Kirby RNLI lifeboat were tasked by HM Coastguard at 11.40am following a call from a member of the volunteer group ‘Hilbre Bird Observatory’. The group had been monitoring the canoeist, who had capsized three times and appeared to be in difficulty. West Kirby RNLI lifeboat ‘Seahorse’ launched to carry out a welfare check on the canoeist who, by the time the crew had reached him, had been able to independently reach the island. The casualty was fully-equipped with a VHF radio and wearing appropriate clothing including buoyancy aid. He was thankful for the support provided by the volunteer crew and accepted a tow to West Kirby Moorings due to the ebbing tide, upon where he was able to safely paddle to shore.

Richard Diamond, West Kirby RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘The casualty was fully-equipped and understood the correct procedure to follow in this situation plus had been able to self-rescue. We thank the member of Hilbre Bird Observatory for contacting the Coastguard as we always encourage people to phone 999 should they suspect that someone is in difficulty.’

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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.

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