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Clacton RNLI volunteer crews rescue man clinging to upturned kayak

Lifeboats News Release

On Saturday 23 June, the volunteers of Clacton RNLI rescue man clinging to an upturned kayak in their second call out of the day.

At 7.40pm on Saturday 23 June, Clacton’s D Class lifeboat was launched with three volunteer crew members at the request of UK Coastguard. They were tasked to two men who had capsized their kayaks off the rock breakwaters adjacent to Jaywick Post Office.

On arrival, one of the men had made it ashore and was being cared for by the coastguard mobile unit, the other man was seen still clinging to an upturned half submerged kayak. As they were not wearing a lifejacket it was imperative to pull them quickly aboard the lifeboat.

As the man was suffering from the effects of exposure and immersion in the sea, it was deemed prudent by the casualty care trained crew to return to the lifeboat station with the man and transfer him to the care of the East of England Ambulance service for further assessment.

The crew later returned to collect the kayak and paddle, which was handed over to the coastguard mobile unit to be reunited with its owner.

Helmsman Eddie Vaughan-Chatfield said: ‘We had a good outcome today from an incident that could so easily have gone the other way. I would like to stress the importance of wearing a lifejacket for all craft, they will not only keep you afloat, but just as importantly reduce the risk of panic, reducing the risk of drowning.’

‘Currently the RNLI is running a campaign ‘FLOAT TO LIVE’ which is aiming to reducing drownings by making people aware that if they fall in the water, try to resist your initial instinct to thrash around; just lean back, extend your arms and legs and float until your breathing is under control, only then try and call for help or swim. This will reduce the chance of ingesting lots of water and inevitably drowning. More details can be found at'

Earlier in the day the Atlantic Class lifeboat David Porter MPS was launched to a ten-metre yacht that had run aground approximately ten miles South.South.East of Clacton Pier. Once the welfare of the skipper and their yacht had been checked, the skipper was happy to wait and float off on the next high tide. With this information UK Coastguard released the lifeboat to return to station.

Notes to Editors

The current D Class lifeboat at Clacton on Sea is the Hicks’ Help from the relief fleet while Clacton’s own Damarkand IV is away for a refit.

RNLI media contacts

  • Richard Wigley, Lifeboat Press Officer, Clacton RNLI: 07903 424698
  • Clare Hopps, RNLI Regional Media Officer, North East and East: 07824 518641
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer 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 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.

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