Two kayakers had a lucky escape on Sunday afternoon when they fell from their crafts and were unable to get back on board; fortunately a passing kayaker saw their plight and informed HM Coastguard.
In choppy sea conditions the couple were paddling their kayaks in the Beachy Head area when one fell out of their craft. In an attempt to assist, the second kayaker also fell into the water. With both people now in the water and unable to get back into their crafts the situation became extremely serious. Fortunately another more experienced kayaker spotted the couples’ dilemma and reported the incident to HM Coastguard before going to their assistance.
HM Coastguard requested the immediate assistance of Eastbourne’s inshore lifeboat (ILB). The volunteer crew quickly assembled, launched, and set off with the greatest urgency. When on scene they found one kayaker still in the water clinging desperately to her craft with the first informant assisting. Meanwhile the other casualty had drifted 200 metres away and was still clinging to his overturned kayak. Prioritising the female casualty as being in the greater danger, having been in the water at this time for some 45 minutes, the ILB crew commenced her recovery to the ILB and requested the first informant stand-by with the second casualty.
Having recovered the female kayaker safely aboard the ILB and having confirmed the status of the second casualty, they returned her to the beach at Holywell and passed her into the care of waiting coastguard officers. The lifeboat crew immediately returned to the original scene to find the second casualty safely ashore with the first informant. The remaining casualty along with the two abandoned kayaks was taken to Holywell where the couple were reunited.
Later an RNLI spokesman commended the actions of the as yet un-named first informant for his prompt and decisive actions which possibly assisted in the saving of at least one life