Kayaker rescued at Sandquay on his 75th Birthday

Launch No: 461
Craft: Dudley Jane. D-838
Tuesday, 27 April 2021
Location: Sandquay on the River Dart
Photo: Sophie Rennie RNLI Dart LPO
Kayakers, RNLI crew and Babcock staff at Sandquay

Two 75 year old kayakers from Warwickshire planned to paddle from Totnes to Dartmouth and back on Tuesday 27 April. As they passed Sandquay where the R N picket boats are moored the current swept one of them against the pontoon and he capsized. His cries for help were heard by the Babcock team who provide shore services for the Britannia Royal Naval College. One immediately raised the alarm and phoned the Coastguard. The Coastguard requested an immediate launch of the RNLI Dart D class lifeboat and she was on scene seven minutes later. Two of the Babcock team put a strop under his arms as they hung on to him as he was clutching the rope they had thrown him. They were able to lift him out of the water, remove some of his soaking clothes and provide him with a thermal blanket. The Dartmouth Coastguard team guided the second kayaker to safely land on the pontoon to join his friend.
On arrival the lifeboat team carried out an immediate Casualty assessment and passed him over to the care of the Paramedic on the West Country ambulance which had arrived two minutes after the lifeboat.
The casualty was taken by ambulance to Totnes hospital. What a way to spend your 75th birthday!
Captain Roger Readwin of the Britannia Royal Naval College would like to congratulate and thank all the first responders and especially to congratulate the Babcock Sandquay staff for their prompt actions which undoubtedly assured the safe recovery of the stricken kayaker.

Photo: Sophie Rennie RNLI Dart LPO
Ambulance Paramedic examines kayaker at Sandquay


Request Received 11:22am
Time at incident 32 minutes
Time to recovery 53 minutes
Back on Service 12:30pm


Sea/River State River Slight Chop
Wind Direction Southwest
Wind Strength 17-21 knots
L 461 to kayaker in the water at Sandquay

Map: trackaship universal

Lifeboat Crew

Kevin Murphy (Helm)
Karl Madge
Aaron Spicer

Shore Crew

Richard Baker (Tractor Driver)
Will Davis
Rich Eggleton
Dean Nettleton
Tom Shanley

Deputy Launch Authority

Mark Strudwick

Station address

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

Contacting the Station

The station is unmanned. Find contact details for each member of the RNLI Dart team here.

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Visitor Centre address

RNLI Visitor Centre
9 South Embankment (Ground Floor)
Devon TQ6 9BH

Visitor Centre phone number

01803 832423

Visitor Centre opening hours

The shop is open from 26 April 2021 from 11am to 1pm. on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and from 11am to 3pm on Wednesdays. It is hoped to extend these times again shortly.

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