Bantham lifeguards rescue capsized kayak family
VOLUNTEER RNLI lifeguards from Bantham Surf Lifesaving Club rescued a family from the water on Sunday afternoon after their kayak capsized in increasing onshore winds.
Liam Krige and Dave Grover were on duty as volunteer RNLI lifeguards when they were alerted to the incident at about 5pm approximately one kilometre south of Bantham beach.
A member of the public walking on the cliff had raised the alarm after spotting the family on their kayak struggling in the conditions.
Liam and Dave responded immediately in the inshore rescue boat and proceeded to the scene.
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On arrival they found the three casualties, an adult and two children, in the water as they’d been unable to keep the kayak upright.
They were all in a panicked state and were shocked.
The lifeguards rescued the casualties from the water and transferred them in the inshore rescue boat back to the shore. The three were treated for cold and shock.
Lifeguards from Bantham Surf Lifesaving Club take part in voluntary patrols for the RNLI each weekend throughout the summer, with Sunday being the last day for the 2012 season.
Many Surf Life Saving GB clubs – of which Bantham is one - provide volunteer patrols on beaches nationwide.
Liam Krige, who is also an RNLI lifeguard supervisor in the South Hams, said: ‘The casualties were extremely shocked when they found themselves in the water, and if we’d been on scene any later the incident would have been much more serious.
"Luckily we were able to rescue the family quickly and take them back to the beach and they went on their way uninjured.
"The RNLI and Bantham Surf Lifesaving Club work closely together throughout the summer and the weekend voluntary patrols are extremely beneficial for both organisations. We look forward to expanding these relations for the 2013 season."
Central to Bantham Surf Life Saving Club’s role, as with all Surf Life Saving GB clubs, is the training of the lifeguards of the future. Eight new lifeguards have been qualified this summer and 135 children train in beach safety every weekend, to help ensure beaches are safer for people to enjoy.
Lifeguards in the South Hams have responded to several incidents in recent weeks involving kayakers. The RNLI encourages those going kayaking to ensure they check that the weather and tide conditions are suitable before going on the water, and always tell someone where you're going and when you'll be back.
Daily RNLI lifeguard patrols will continue until Sunday 30 September at Bantham. Throughout October RNLI lifeguards will be on duty each weekend and during the half term holiday, finishing patrols for 2012 on Sunday 4 November.