Sinking Kayaker rescued by Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat crew
A solo kayaker on a charity fundraising paddle challenge was rescued by the Lowestoft lifeboat crew when his craft started to sink.
The volunteer crew of Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat Patsy Knight were called out at 3.08pm on 4 October 2021, following multiple 999 calls to the UK coastguard.
Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat coxswain John Fox said “we soon reached the kayaker who was a quarter of a mile offshore adjacent to the North Denes. When we arrived, his kayak was half submerged. We pulled him from the water and onto the lifeboat and into the warmth of the wheelhouse.
The sea state was choppy and a south, south-west wind was gusting to 26 knots as we began towing the half-submerged kayak very slowly back to the harbour to avoid damaging it.
On arrival we were met by HM coastguard rescue teams from Lowestoft and Gorleston who were able to pull the kayak out of the water and on to the Heritage Quay pontoon.
The Kayaker from Sussex but who lives in London, said he was on a charitable trip from London to Yorkshire to raise funds for a community garden - which he had expected would take a few days. He was carrying a tent and planned to come ashore to camp overnight.
He said “it was getting quite rough when I encountered a couple of bigger waves and although I got over the first wave, the second swamped me and the kayak was holed. I tried to paddle the sinking kayak slowly towards the rocks and beach and it was then that people on shore must have spotted my predicament and called the lifeboat. I am very grateful for the all the help and hopeful that I will be able to get the kayak repaired locally.”
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 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.