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Off duty RNLI lifeguards assist kayaker in difficulty off Towan beach

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI lifeguards and a local surf instructor helped to assist a kayaker yesterday (Tuesday 26 April) who became overwhelmed in the conditions and was struggling to make it back to shore off Towan beach.

Nathan Wilmer, RNLI lifeguard supervisor, and Peter Rigo, who will return as an RNLI lifeguard later this summer, arrived at Towan beach around midday on Tuesday and were alerted by Mike Young from Escape Surf School to a kayaker in the water.

The kayaker had launched his kayak from the harbour but had been washed into the water while paddling out to sea. He was trying to swim back to shore but in strong winds and rough conditions he was in serious difficulty.

Mike, Nathan and Peter put their wetsuits on and made their way out to the casualty, who was by now up to his neck in water but being washed around by the waves. Mike arrived first and supported him and between the three, they swum him back to shore. On the beach the casualty was assessed and an ambulance was called for further care.

Nathan had arrived at the beach to carry out rescue watercraft training with lifeguards who are due to return to the area’s beaches on Saturday. He said: ‘The casualty was extremely lucky that Peter and I had just arrived at the beach, and that Mike had spotted him and was also in a position to help. Despite it being the end of April the weather continues to be unsettled with squally showers and winds, creating rough conditions in and on the water.

‘We strongly urge anybody using the water to be aware of the conditions and their capabilities and carry a means of calling for help. Our RNLI lifeguards will be back on patrol across the south west from Saturday helping to keep people safe.’

Notes to editors

Patrols will be begin on the following beaches in the Newquay area from Saturday (30 April): Towan and Watergate Bay

Patrols will begin on the following beaches in the Newquay area from May 21: Crantock, Great Western, Tolcarne, Porth and Mawgan Porth

RNLI lifeguards are on duty daily at Fistral.

RNLI media contacts

For further information, please contact either Emma Haines, RNLI Public Relations Manager, on 07786 668847 or email emma_haines@rnli.org.uk or Chloe Smith, RNLI Press Officer, on 07920 818807 or email chloe_smith@rnli.org.uk

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 over 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.

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