Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Kayak double bill for Ilfracombe lifeboats

PUBLISHED: 17:07 18 May 2014 | UPDATED: 17:07 18 May 2014

Both Ilfracombe lifeboats were called out on Saturday.

Both Ilfracombe lifeboats were called out on Saturday.

Archant

Lifeboat crews called out twice on Saturday to kayakers in difficulty.

The kayak belonging to the man rescued from Sillery Sands is returned to the harbour at Lynmouth on Saturday night by Ilfracombe's all weather lifeboat crew. Picture: RNLI/Ilfracombe.The kayak belonging to the man rescued from Sillery Sands is returned to the harbour at Lynmouth on Saturday night by Ilfracombe's all weather lifeboat crew. Picture: RNLI/Ilfracombe.

ILFRACOMBE’S RNLI lifeboats were called out twice yesterday (Saturday) to kayakers in difficulty.

The first incident saw the inshore lifeboat called to a man and a woman in inflatable kayaks off Rillage Point near the town.

The man was not in trouble but the woman’s boat had become caught in the strong flooding tide and swept out to sea.

The lifeboat picked both up and towed their kayaks back to Hele Bay, where they had launched from. Helmsman Ben Langham said the pair were not complete strangers to the water, having river kayaked before and at sea on solid craft, but added:

“They had prepared for their time on the water, both were wearing buoyancy aids and had plenty of drinking water, but inflatables, whether they are shaped as kayaks or not, are very light and easily taken by the strong currents of the sea.

“With the large spring tides we have, the water may look very calm on the surface, but underneath the surface there can be a great deal of fast moving tide which very quickly can get a hold and sweep people out to sea.”

The lifeboat crew had been back at the station for barely two hours when both lifeboats launched again at 9pm.

The yacht Broadblue had reported a man swimming while dragging a small craft with him, and kept an eye on him as he managed to swim ashore at Sillery Sands near Lynmouth.

A second report came from the coastguard that a kayaker was long overdue, and when lifeboat crew member Matt Simpson was put ashore, he confirmed it was the missing man. Matt found the casualty, wet, cold and tired, but otherwise unharmed.

He and his kayak were transferred to the all weather lifeboat and returned to the harbour at Lynmouth where his anxious wife was waiting to collect him.

“The gentleman we picked up tonight was very lucky,” said Carl Perrin, second coxswain on the all-weather lifeboat.

“With night falling and the light fading, if the people aboard the yacht had not spotted him and called the situation in to the coastguard, he would not have been found so easily.

“When his wife contacted the coastguard to alert them he was overdue, she gave them his intended location, which, as it turned out, was several miles to the west of his actual location.

“Had we begun our search where she was expecting him to be, we would certainly have been searching for several hours before finding him, if at all. The tide was on its way out, so the beach he was on would have become uncovered, but being wet and cold, he would have been in for a very uncomfortable wait.

“The people on board Broadblue certainly aided in saving this gentleman’s life tonight.”

The RNLI advises anyone going to sea in a boat or kayak to ensure they check the tide heights and times, as well as wear buoyancy aids and carry a VHF radio in case they get into difficulties. For more information, go to www.rnli.org/safetyandeducation.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 08:00

A road sign and traffic cone were left on the route from Barnstaple to Exeter overnight on Tuesday

Read more
Fri, 22:00

Treat Time opened its doors in Boutport Street earlier this month

Read more
Fri, 18:30

After being closed for four months for refurbishment and maintenance, the museum welcomes back visitors tomorrow (Saturday, March 25)

Read more
Fri, 16:46

Schools and businesses have been taking part in Red Nose Day on Friday

Read more
Fri, 14:23

Casualty is taken to hospital by air ambulance after his leg became trapped in the agricultural machinery

Read more
Fri, 13:42

Experienced and newly qualified nurses invited to open day at North Devon District Hospital on Monday, April 24

Read more
Fri, 13:12

Barnstaple Town Council has been boosted by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to tell the story of the town’s involvement in the English Civil War.

Read more
Fri, 11:40

The former Great British Bake Off host was in the town ahead of her 82nd birthday

Read more
Fri, 10:31

The black BMW was taken from a house in Roundswell, Barnstaple, before it was involved in a serious collision.

Read more
Fri, 08:00

The new North Devon Wellie Festival promises a weekend of live music, wellie-inspired events and plenty of fun at The Big Sheep.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 6°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications