Ilfracombe RNLI inshore lifeboat launched to rescue kayaker

Lifeboats News Release

Ilfracombe RNLI's inshore lifeboat 'Deborah Brown II', was launched at 2.40pm on Tuesday 27 March following reports of a kayaker in difficulty near Wildersmouth Beach, Ilfracombe.

D Class lifeboat with crew

RNLI/Neil Perrin

Ilfracombe D Class lifeboat Deborah Brown II

A member of the public spotted the kayaker 500 meters off Wildersmouth Beach, in the water next to their sit on top kayak attempting to swim with his kayak to shore. The Ilfracombe RNLI volunteer D class inshore lifeboat the Deborah Brown II quickly launched and reached the kayaker a few minutes later. Sea conditions were quiet with small waves and little wind so the lifeboat made the short distance in good time.

The kayaker had fallen from the sit on top kayak and had been unable to climb back onboard. He had been in the water for approximately 30 minutes during which time he had managed to swim to within 50 meters of the beach. However, when the lifeboat reached him he had swallowed water and was cold. Although he had been wearing a buoyancy aid, this had come undone and was floating in the water next to him.

The kayaker was recovered into the lifeboat and was taken back to the lifeboat station where he was attended to by the ambulance service and taken to the Tyrrell Hospital in Ilfracombe for further checks. The crew subsequently returned to the beach to recover the kayak.The lifeboat finally returned to station at 2.50pm.

Leigh Hanks, RNLI Volunteer Helm for Ilfracombe RNLI inshore lifeboat said: ‘The kayaker had fallen into the water and was unable to climb back on. His bouyancy aid had come undone so was unable to support him in the water. We would urge anyone planning to participate in watersports to ensure their safety equipment is in good condition and worn correctly. Advice on water safety including choosing and wearing buoyancy aids and lifejackets can be found on the RNLI website https://rnli.org/safety'

Notes to editors

§ Ilfracombe lifeboat station has been operating since 1866. To learn more about the lifeboat station go tohttps://rnli.org/ilfracombe

§ Volunteer Helm Leigh Hanks is available for interview

§ Ilfracombe RNLI station currently operates a relief Shannon class all-weather lifeboat Stormrider and a D class inshore lifeboat The Deborah Brown II. The station also operates a Shannon launch and recovery vehicle The June and Gordon Hadfield.

§ A library photograph of the RNLI Shannon class lifeboat can be viewed at https://rnli.org/what-we-do/lifeboats-and-stations/our-lifeboat-fleet/shannon-class-lifeboat

§ A library photograph of the RNLI D Class inshore lifeboat can be viewed at https://rnli.org/what-we-do/lifeboats-and-stations/our-lifeboat-fleet/d-class-lifeboat

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Paula Kingdon, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07786 433744 orpaula_kingdon@rnli.org.uk or Emma Haines, Press Officer (South) on 07786 668847 or emma_haines@rnli.org.uk or contact RNLI Media and Public Relations on 01202 336789

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries. Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.

The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland


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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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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