Sinking charity kayaker 'pulled from the water' by lifeboat crew

Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat towing the half-submerged kayak slowly back to the harbour.

Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat towing the half-submerged kayak slowly back to the harbour. - Credit: Mick Howes

A kayaker on a charity fundraising paddle challenge had to be rescued by a lifeboat crew off the Suffolk coast when his craft started to sink.

The volunteer crew of Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat, Patsy Knight, were called out just after 3pm on Monday, October 4 following multiple 999 calls to the UK coastguard reporting that the solo kayaker was in difficulty at sea.

The kayaker was embarking on a charity paddle challenge when he was "swamped" by a couple of large waves and his craft started to sink offshore, not far from the North Denes in Lowestoft.

Lowestoft Lifeboat coxswain John Fox said: "We soon reached the kayaker who was a quarter of a mile offshore adjacent to the North Denes.

"When we arrived, his kayak was half submerged.


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"We pulled him from the water and onto the lifeboat and into the warmth of the wheelhouse."

Kayaker rescued Lowestoft Patsy Knight lifeboat

Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat, Patsy Knight, towing the half-submerged kayak slowly back to the harbour. - Credit: Mick Howes

Mr Fox said that the sea conditions was "choppy."

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He added: "With a south, south-west wind gusting to 26 knots, we began towing the half-submerged kayak very slowly back to the harbour to avoid damaging it.

Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat kayak rescued

Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat towing the half-submerged kayak slowly back to the harbour. - Credit: Mick Howes

"On arrival we were met by HM coastguard rescue teams from Lowestoft and Gorleston who were able to pull the kayak out of the water and on to the Heritage Quay pontoon in Lowestoft."

The kayaker, from Sussex but who lives in London, said he was on a charitable trip from London to Yorkshire to raise funds for a community garden.

He had expected the challenge "would take a few days" as he was was carrying a tent and planned to come ashore to camp overnight.

He said: "It was getting quite rough when I encountered a couple of bigger waves and although I got over the first wave, the second swamped me and the kayak was holed.

"I tried to paddle the sinking kayak slowly towards the rocks and beach and it was then that people on shore must have spotted my predicament and called the lifeboat.

"I am very grateful for the all the help and hopeful that I will be able to get the kayak repaired locally.”

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