St Catherine’s RNLI inshore lifeboat rescues kayaker in the water

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The St Catherine’s inshore lifeboat was launched into rough seas and F7 winds to rescue a kayaker who had found himself in the water following equipment failure.


At 12.30pm on Saturday afternoon, Jersey Coastguard launched the RNLI Jersey inshore lifeboat from St Catherine’s to rescue a kayaker in the water. The casualty’s companion had been able to make it to shore in and raise the alarm after the outrigger of his colleague’s kayak had failed in the heavy swell behind Gorey Castle. By the time the call was put in to Jersey Coastguard, the casualty had been in the water for an estimated 30 minutes.


In spite of conditions being at the operational limits of the inshore lifeboat, the St Catherine’s crew launched and proceeded to Gorey where it was quickly ascertained that the casualty had not made it ashore. The crew then commenced a shoreline search in challenging conditions with a strong wind and rough seas. 


Meanwhile, the Jersey Fire & Rescue Service had determined that they would not be able to launch from the Welcome Slip in Gorey and were making their way round to Anne Port Bay to try and launch from there when they spotted the casualty, who had stayed with his upturned kayak. The Fire & Rescue Service contacted the lifeboat crew by VHF radio and the casualty was then quickly located by the crew.


The kayaker was brought on board the lifeboat before being assessed and, in spite of having been in the water for the best part of an hour, he was suffering no more than exposure to the elements. The crew were also able to recover the hull of the kayak. The lifeboat then proceeded back to Gorey where the casualty was reunited with his companion and able to change into dry clothing.


Nigel Sweeny, Lifeboat Operations Manager for RNLI Jersey, said:


“This was a challenging rescue in difficult conditions and was ultimately successful thanks to the co-operation between the Fire & Rescue Service, working from the shore, and the lifeboat crew.


The successful outcome was in no small part due to the casualty wearing the right clothing and having the presence of mind to stay with his kayak. That meant that he was more easily able to stay afloat, and much easier to spot from both land and sea.”


The inshore lifeboat was refuelled and prepared for her next service.


Credit: RNLI

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