Kayaker saved in Poole Harbour after broadcasting a Mayday call on VHF radio

Lifeboats News Release

Poole D class lifeboat was requested to launch by UK Coastguard Saturday March 19 at 11am to a kayaker in difficulty off the Ro-Ro ferry terminal in Poole Harbour.

Don Williams

Poole D class responding in blustery conditions
The kayaker had got into difficulty and had been caught out by the blustery weather and capsized.

The casualty had tried unsuccessfully to re-right the kayak and he had to ‘punch out’, he then found that he was unable to get back in. The kayaker had with him a VHF radio and issued a ‘Mayday’ distress call for immediate assistance.

Fortunately, a passing rib that was out in the harbour from Powerboat Training UK, were in the vicinity and had heard the ‘Mayday’ and were able to locate the casualty and recover him from the water. They then took the casualty to nearby Poole Yacht Club, to warm the kayaker up. Another rib from Poole Yacht Club (PYC) had recovered the kayak.

The Lifeboat volunteer crew were transferred ashore to check the casualty out and administered casualty care, it was imperative to get the casualty slowly warmed up after being immersed in cold water. The lifeboat crew thanked PYC for the use of their showers, blanket and sweet warm tea.

Once the casualty was warmer, he was handed into the care of Poole Coastguard Rescue Team and he waited for a friend to pick him up, with the intention to proceed to the hospital for a check-up as the casualty had been in the water for around 15 minutes, there was some concern that there may be some secondary drowning.
Poole Volunteer Helm Steve Porter said:
'Conditions were howling in the harbour with the fresh easterly wind causing plenty of chop, we would advise to always carry accessible means of communication, there was good support from all parties involved today'.
The lifeboat returned to station, washed down and was ready for service by 12:30pm
Thank you to Don Williams - Credit Photos

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.