Eastbourne kayaker praised for saving couple in 'extremely serious' situation at sea

The lifeboat at Beachy Head
The lifeboat at Beachy Head

The Eastbourne RNLI has praised a kayaker who came to the assistance of a couple who found themselves in an 'extremely serious' situation at sea.

The couple, who were also kayaking, had been paddling in the Beachy Head area during choppy sea conditions when one fell out of their craft.

In an attempt to assist, the second kayaker also fell into the water.

With both unable to get back into their kayaks, the situation became 'extremely serious', an RNLI spokesman said.

Fortunately a passing kayaker saw their plight and informed HM Coastguard before going to help them.

The HM Coastguard requested the immediate assistance of Eastbourne’s inshore lifeboat (ILB) and the volunteer crew set off.

On the scene, they found one kayaker still in the water clinging desperately to her craft with the first informant assisting her.

Meanwhile, the other casualty had drifted 200 metres away and was still clinging to his overturned kayak, the spokesman said.

The spokesman said: "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 couple were reunited at Holywell.

The RNLI spokesman has 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.

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