Newcastle RNLI rescue man clinging to Kayak

At 1.40pm today (Saturday 31 December) Newcastle RNLI was requested by Belfast Coastgaurd to launch to the aid of what was believed to be a dinghy in trouble a half mile south of Newcastle harbour. However when the inshore lifeboat arrived on scene the crew discovered that the callout was to three kayakers in trouble, with one man found clinging to a kayak in the freezing water and unable to get to safety.

Newcastle RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew were quickly on scene once the call for help was received. They observed one kayak being towed by another but only one person was visible. On further investigation it was established there were two kayakers further along the shoreline – one of whom was in the water!

The inshore lifeboat crew proceeded further south and located a male clinging to the front of the third kayak unable to get to safety. The person was recovered from the freezing water onto the lifeboat and the crew carried out the RNLI’s ‘casualty care’ and returned to Newcastle Lifeboat Station to await the arrival of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.

The inshore lifeboat crew then went back to the scene to recover the initial kayaker and kayaks while Newcastle Coastguard recovered a third casualty from the shore line. The casualty was transferred into the care of Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.

Alan Jones Newcastle RNLI lifeboat Helm said ‘Another five minutes and we could have been dealing with a completely different outcome. The water is absolutely freezing at this time of year.’

Crew: Alan Jones (Helm), Declan Barry & Karl Rooney

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