Local kayaking group joins Calshot RNLI in multi-agency exercise

Lifeboats News Release

On the evening of Wednesday 24 May, a joint exercise involving both Calshot Lifeboats, paddlers in Sea Kayaks and Calshot NCI took place in the Solent.

Calshot Lifeboats assisting injured kayaker on exercise

New Forest Kayak and Canoe Club/Ya Huang

Calshot Lifeboats assisting injured kayaker on exercise

After paddling out into Stanswood Bay and practicing their own capsize drills, one member of the seventeen strong group roleplayed a shoulder injury. Demonstrating their radio skills, the group leader was able to simulate a radio call for assistance to a member of crew acting as the Coastguard ashore.

Both of Calshot’s lifeboats, Atlantic 85 B Class Lifeboat Max Walls and D Class Lifeboat Willett were launched. Crew were ably assisted by the NCI, who, from their tower on Calshot Spit, approximately one hundred feet above sea level, had a perfect view of unfolding events and were able to provide regular updates until the lifeboats arrived on scene.

On arrival, volunteer crews of both lifeboats were able to assess and extract the casualty from their Kayak into the D Class. Once the injury was identified an RNLI casualty care trained crew member was able to simulate administering pain relief to make the casualty comfortable for the short recovery back to the station.

Being next to a busy shipping lane and so not to cause a hazard to navigation, the larger Atlantic recovered the kayak and was just about to return to station when another member of the kayak group simulated becoming unwell with severe seasickness. The second casualty was then recovered into the Atlantic, assessed and returned to the station where once ashore the symptoms passed.

The exercise didn’t end there, with Mark Shakespeare from the kayak club then providing valuable training on various methods of recovering a waterlogged kayak from the water providing the crews with the opportunity to put the theory into practice in the safety of the calm waters around the spit.

RNLI helm and exercise organiser Graham Burgess said: ‘On behalf of Calshot RNLI, I would like to thank both the NCI, and New Forest Kayak and Canoe Club, especially the two casualties for the channelling their inner thespians. These exercises are a critical part in helping to keep our volunteer crews trained and prepared to save lives at sea. We look forward to training with them again in the future.’

Mark Shakespeare from the New Forest Kayak and Canoe Club agreed, adding: ‘Drilling scenarios such as these are vitally important for us as kayakers. Only a few weeks ago The New Forest Kayak and Canoe Club required the assistance of Swanage RNLI to recover one of our team who had dislocated their shoulder whilst out on the water. We hope that this exercise is the first of many we’ll undertake together.’

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact:

Justyn Leonard, Lifeboat Press Officer on 07540 920678 or email [email protected]

Paul Dunt, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 07785 296252 or email [email protected]

RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789

Notes to editors

Calshot Lifeboat Station was established in 1970 and is situated on Calshot Spit at the seaward end of Southampton Water. It operates an Atlantic 85 B Class Lifeboat, Max Walls and a D Class Lifeboat, Willett.

Calshot Lifeboats assisting injured kayaker on exercise

New Forest Kayak and Canoe Club/Ya Huang

Kayak exercise with Calshot RNLI

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