Three youths on a kayak trigger multi-agency rescue operation

Launch No: 395
Craft: Spirit of the Dart. D-702
Thursday, 27 June 2019
Location: Blackpool Sands. Start Bay
Both RNLI Dart lifeboats race to Blackpool Sands
Photo: Andy Kyle/RNLI
Both RNLI Dart lifeboats race to Blackpool Sands

Three young men launched in a kayak from Blackpool Sands into strong onshore waves and wind. The alarm was raised by a visiting holidaymaker as they were swept away towards the rocks below Matts Point. The staff at the Venus Café called the Coastguard and the local Dartmouth Coastguard SAR team were deployed as well as the RNLI Dart B class Atlantic 75 inshore lifeboat and the RNLI Dart D class. The D class inflatable was sent as there was a strong likelihood that three people would have been in the water requiring rescue and the D class would have been able to go ashore if it was essential. The Coastguard helicopter, with a casualty onboard bound for Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, was diverted to pinpoint the position of the youths. Waves were reaching half way up the cliffs surrounding the cove as the three decided to try and swim ashore and were dumped on the beach by the waves. As the lifeboats arrived off the cove they managed to climb the steps unaided to the Coastguard team who had also just arrived. Back at Blackpool Sands two of the three were assessed by a First Aid trained crewman, Mark Conroy, who had swum ashore from the Atlantic B class. The youngest of the three was sent to hospital by ambulance for further assessment.

Mark Conroy swam ashore from the B class lifeboat to assess the casualties
Photo: Riki Bannister RNLI Dart Assistant Lifeboat Press officer
Mark Conroy swam ashore from the B class lifeboat to assess the casualties
The cove at Matts Point where the kayakers reached the shore.
Photo: Riki Bannister RNLI Dart Assistant Lifeboat Press officer
The cove at Matts Point where the kayakers reached the shore.

Time

Request Received 5:36pm
Time at incident 6 minutes
Time to recovery 1 hour, 4 minutes
Back on Service 7:04pm

Conditions

Sea/River State Moderate
Wind Direction Northeast
Wind Strength 21 knots (Gusts: 27
AIS track of RNLI Dart D class to Blackpool Sands rescue

Map: trackaship universal

Lifeboat Crew

Jamie Mathys (Helm)
Stuart Millard
Tom Shanley

Shore Crew

Karl Guess (Tractor Driver)
Will Davis
Chris Tracey

Station address

RNLI Dart Lifeboat Station
Coronation Park
North Embankment
Dartmouth
Devon TQ6 9RR

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