Dart and Torbay RNLI rescue two kayakers in rough conditions

Lifeboats News Release

A party of seven kayakers had been camping on a beach near Scabbacombe Head, between Dartmouth and Berry head.

The crew of the Torbay all weather lifeboat prepare her for coming alongside

RNLI/David Brown

The crew of the Torbay all weather lifeboat prepare her for coming alongside

After visiting another nearby beach by kayak, their party of seven became five when two became too tired to return to the camping beach and stayed where they were. On waking the next morning to rough seas and winds gusting to force 6 on the Beaufort Wind Scale they started the journey back but considered aborting the crossing. However they had no option but to head back to the first beach to be reunited with the other two kayakers.

It was then they got into difficulty. One member of the party capsized and was in the water for about 45 minutes, getting pummelled by the waves. Another kayaker went to his rescue, but she too capsized and spent some time in the water. The Atlantic 85 Dart RNLI Lifeboat lifted them on board and transferred them to the Seven class Torbay RNLI all weather lifeboat, who brought them ashore to the town pontoon at Dartmouth.

They were taken to the lifeboat station where they were examined by paramedics and given some warm clothes and hot drinks. The Dart D class lifeboat went close to the shore in very difficult sea conditions to confirm that the remaining five were unharmed.

The other members of the party were lifted from the small cove by the Coastguard helicopter to a place where they could be rescued by the shore-based coastguard search and rescue team and returned by road to Dartmouth.

The RNLI volunteers from Dart, Salcombe and Torbay had exercised together just over two weeks before to practice a joint sea search and to transfer an injured casualty to the Torbay RNLI all weather lifeboat.


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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.