150923-002

Report of Kayaker in difficulties

Tuesday 22 September 2015

Location: Off Porthoustock

Weather: NNW 5, Moderate Sea and Slight Swell, Fair Visibility, Sunny Periods

Inshore lifeboat (Launched 15:37 / returned 16:55) – Luke Wills (Helmsman), Claire Angove, Neil Capper

Details:

At 15:30 Falmouth Coastguard requested that Falmouth Inshore Lifeboat be launched following reports of a Kayaker in difficulties off Porthoustock. The Porthoustock Coastguard Cliff Rescue Team and a Rescue Helicopter from RNAS Culdrose were also tasked to assist.

The Inshore Lifeboat launched from her slipway at 15:37 and having rounded Pendennis Point headed across the Falmouth Bay arriving on scene at 15:56. A search was commenced downwind towards the Manacles initially using information provided by the National Coastwatch Institutes lookout at Nare Head. The Porthoustock Coastguard team made their way to Manacle Point where they spotted the casualty clinging to his kayak, immediately directing the Inshore Lifeboat to the location ½ mile Southeast of the Sharks Fin. Once on scene the semi-conscious casualty was recovered from the water and having been assessed by the crew it was decided to transfer him to hospital by helicopter. Once the casualty was in the helicopter and on his way to hospital the Inshore Lifeboat recovered the kayak and took it to Porthoustock where it was handed over to the coastguard team. The Inshore Lifeboat being released to return to station at 16:30.

The Inshore Lifeboat was recovered onto its slipway at 16:55 where it was refuelled and ready for service by 17:10.

The casualty had fallen into the water while out fishing on his sit on kayak. He had been unable to get back on board and had clung on to his kayak as it drifted through the Manacles. The casualty who had been in the water for a considerable amount of time was suffering from hypothermia and undoubtedly the outcome could have had tragic consequences if it had not been for the prompt actions of the emergency services.