Person in the water from Kayak

Sunday 22 May 2016

Location: Off Porthallow, Falmouth Bay

Weather: NW 5, Slight Sea and Swell, Good Visibility, Clear Sky

Inshore lifeboat (Launched 16:49 / Returned 17:50) – Neil Capper (Helmsman), Tom Bird, Jamie Connoly

All-weather lifeboat (Launched 16:51 / Returned 17:55) – Carl Beardmore (Deputy 2nd Coxswain), Dave Nicoll, Diane Bush, Andy Jenkin, Nick Head, Tom Telford, Jake Ingleby, Adrian Hingston


At 16:43 Falmouth Coastguard requested that Falmouth All Weather and Inshore Lifeboats be launched following a 999 call reporting a person in the water from a kayak off Porthallow in Falmouth Bay. The Coastguard Cliff Rescue Team from Porthoustock was also tasked to assist.

The Inshore Lifeboat launched from her slipway at 16:49 followed shortly afterwards by the All Weather Lifeboat which left its pontoon berth at 16:51. Both boats headed across Falmouth Bay, the Inshore Lifeboat arriving on scene at 17:00 where they found that the Dive Boat Celtic Kitten had recovered the casualty from the water. The All Weather Lifeboat arrived on scene at 17:09 where it stood by while the casualty and his Kayak were transferred ashore by the Inshore Lifeboat where they were met by the Porthoustock Cliff Rescue Team.

At 17:22 the casualty started showing signs of hyperthermia so considering the remoteness of the location the decision was taken to transfer the casualty from the beach to the All Weather Lifeboat and to take him back to Falmouth. The casualty was transferred using the Inshore Lifeboat and at 17:36 the All Weather Lifeboat set course back to Falmouth arriving at the station where the casualty was assessed by paramedics before being taken to hospital by ambulance.

The Inshore Lifeboat was recovered onto its slipway at 17:50 and the All Weather Lifeboat arrived back alongside its pontoon berth at 17:55, where both lifeboats were refuelled and ready for service by 18:20.

The casualty who had been wearing a buoyancy aid had fallen into the water from his kayak and had been unable to get back on board. He had been in the water for approximately twenty five minutes before he had been recovered and once ashore his condition had then started to deteriorate. Once on board the All Weather Lifeboat the casualty was transferred into the warm wheelhouse where he was treated by the lifeboat crew who are trained in casualty care and thanks to their actions his condition was stabilised.