Kayaker in difficulties at sea

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI Wells inshore lifeboat was paged for an immediate launch at 9.35am on Monday 25 October, to assist a kayaker who had capsized his craft and then found himself in difficulty in the channel South of Scolt Head Island.

Wells inshore lifeboat crew launching the lifeboat

RNLI/Ray West

Wells volunteer inshore lifeboat crew launch at high tide this morning

The Wells inshore lifeboat Peter Wilcox, launched with a volunteer crew of three outside the boathouse at 9.44am at high tide, and headed down the harbour channel and out to sea towards Brancaster Harbour.

The lifeboat arrived at the entrance to Brancaster Harbour at 10.04am and proceeded towards the vicinity where the local Coastguard team had sighted the Kayak in the water.

The Coastguard subsequently advised the lifeboat crew that a local fishing vessel had taken the Kayak in tow, so at 10.15am Wells inshore lifeboat rendezvoused with the fishing vessel, and at which point learnt that the person in difficulty had made it to the safety of the shore.

The lifeboat proceeded towards the shore and received confirmation that the kayaker had made it back to the safety of The White Horse public house and was getting warm and dry. He required no further assistance.

HM Coastguard released the lifeboat crew from the task at 10.30am. The lifeboat departed the scene, proceeded out of the harbour, and returned to Wells Boathouse.

The inshore lifeboat was ashore outside the boathouse at 11am. It was sanitised, rehoused, refuelled and back on service again at 11.30am.

Lifeboat Operations Manager, Chris Hardy, said ‘we are very relieved that today’s incident ended well, but it is a reminder of how important it is to always carry a means of being able to call for help when out kayaking. A charged mobile phone in a waterproof pouch and kept on your person is a good means of communication. Alternatively, take a waterproof handheld DSC VHF with you. Always wear a buoyancy aid, let someone know where you are going and when you will be back, and if you find yourself in difficulty do not hesitate to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’

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.

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