Lifeguards sprang into action to rescue two kayakers struggling in the water half a mile off Herne Bay. The alarm was raised by visitors on the pier on Saturday at 1pm, and volunteers sprinted to the council’s lifeguard hut in Central Parade. An RNLI crew was dispatched, and coastguards also arrived to help the pair, who had been brought back to the shore and were suffering from the effects of hypothermia. Pier Trust volunteer and local councillor Andrew Cook (Con) said:
“It was quite a drama. The two kayakers were a man and a woman who said they were out on their first trip. There was a brisk wind blowing and the tide had been out. They thought their kayaks were submerging and were in the water. They were out by the pier head and couldn’t get back to the shore because of tiredness. A lady on the pier came down to the office and told us she could see people in trouble. At first we thought it was near the pier, but out to sea you could only just make out a couple of heads bobbing in the water. I ran to the lifeguard, who very bravely paddled out to them on a surfboard and pulled them both back to the shore. They looked pretty shattered.”
The lifeguards are part of Canterbury City Council’s foreshore team. Spokesman Robert Davies said.
“Lifeguards were alerted to a potential problem with two people on kayaks about 800 metres offshore. They contacted Thames Coastguard to raise the alarm before heading out to the people in the water. On arrival, the lifeguards quickly established that the people were on their own, had no injuries and had not swallowed any water. They were then escorted back to the shore, with both kayakers assisting themselves. Both were treated for suspected hypothermia before an ambulance arrived to take over treatment. Following this, the kayakers left the lifeguard unit happy.”
• Plans for a community safety day on Sunday, August 3 were announced by Kent Fire Brigade at a meeting of Herne Bay councillors. It will be an educational day to let people know about how to stay safe in the sea or around the coast, and how to raise the alarm if someone is in danger. More details will follow in the Gazette in the coming weeks.
Herne Bay Gazette, June 12th 2014