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Seahouses lifeboat responds to Kayakers 'Mayday' call

Lifeboats News Release

At 12.47pm on Sunday 22 January 2023, UK Coastguard requested Seahouses inshore lifeboat to launch, following a 'Mayday' call from a group of ten Kayakers off Seahouses.

Seahouses Inshore Lifeboat D 828 Grace Darling on service

RNLI/Ian Clayton

Seahouses Inshore Lifeboat D 828 Grace Darling on service
They had reported that one of their group, a female, had been missing for 15 minutes. The inshore lifeboat crew were paged. As the inshore lifeboat (ILB) was about to leave the station, Seahouses RNLI were informed by Coastguard that the missing female had been picked up by a local fishing boat.

The Crew were asked to stand by, and carry out an assessment to provide Casualty Care (trained medical assistance) if needed.

By the time the fishing boat docked at Seahouses, the local Coastguard Rescue Team were also at the harbour. The casualty was very cold and was brought to the lifeboat station where the Coastguard diagnosed hypothermia and requested that she could use the station shower to re-warm her. They then requested an ambulance.

While this was taking place, and the ambulance paramedics arrived, a discussion took place with the Coastguard. There was concern about the remaining nine members of the party as the sea conditions were challenging for kayaks, and one of the Coastguard Team had noticed one paddling in a different direction from the rest of the group.

It was also difficult to count, using binoculars, as to how many kayakers there were in the main group. After some deliberation, the Coastguard requested the launch of the ILB to check on the welfare of the rest of the Kayakers. The ILB launched at 2.10pm. By the time it arrived near the first group they had managed to get ashore and the CG team in attendance confirmed they were all safe and well.

The ILB then went towards Bamburgh where the other kayaker was heading. The Kayaker had just landed when the ILB arrived and again he was safe and well. Apparently he had parked his car at Bamburgh and not with the rest of the group. The Coastguard Team then met with the kayakers from the group, who were given advice. The ILB was stood down at 2.35pm, and returned to station.

Seahouses RNLI volunteer Press Officer Ian Clayton added: 'These Kayakers did exactly the right thing in putting out a MAYDAY call promptly, as sea conditions were not good. We and the kayakers are very grateful to the local fishing boat who reacted so swiftly to their distress call.

'This situation could have ended very differently, and we urge anyone going to sea in canoes or kayaks, to check the weather forecast beforehand. We do not wish to prevent anyone enjoying the coastline, but if in doubt, stay ashore. If you do go to sea, ensure you have the right safety equipment, with the ability to request assistance if needed, as this group did. Both the RNLI and HM Coastguard can provide advice if needed.'

RNLI Media contacts
For more information please contact Ian Clayton, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer: [email protected]

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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