Kayaker in difficulty

Date: Thursday 12 March 2020

Location: Off Porthcurnic Beach, Gerrans Bay

Weather: W 5-6, Moderate Sea and Swell, Good Visibility, Squally Showers

Inshore lifeboat: (Launched 13:32 / Returned 14:55) – Jamie Wakefield (Helmsman), Tom Bird, Caden Harris, Lloyd Barron


At 13:25 Falmouth Coastguard requested that Falmouth Inshore Lifeboat be launched after they received several 999 calls reporting a Kayaker in difficulties off Porthcurnic Beach, near Portscatho. The Portscatho Coastguard Rescue Team was also tasked to assist.

The Inshore Lifeboat launched from her slipway at 13:32 and having rounded Zone Point headed up to the east arriving on scene off Portscatho at 13:46. The casualty was spotted clinging to his kayak about a mile offshore and was quickly recovered to the Inshore Lifeboat, where they were found to be suffering from severe hypothermia. The decision was made to abandon the kayak and at 13:50 the Inshore Lifeboat headed back towards Falmouth at best possible speed given the weather conditions. Arriving back at the lifeboat station at 14:06 the Inshore Lifeboat was moored alongside the All Weather Lifeboat where the casualty was placed on a stretcher and moved into the wheelhouse of the All Weather Lifeboat to be assessed by Ambulance Paramedics, before being transferred to an ambulance before being taken to Treliske Hospital.

The Inshore Lifeboat was recovered onto its slipway at 14:55 where the lifeboat was refuelled and made ready for service by 15:20.

The kayaker had launched from Porthcurnic Beach and got into difficulty when they lost their paddle and then ended up in the water. They are believed to have been in the water for up to two hours. Without the reports from the public and the actions of the lifeboat crew the outcome could have had a tragic conclusion.