Five RNLI lifeboats were launched yesterday (June 12) in search of a kayaker who had been missing for a number of hours.

RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews from Plymouth, Looe and Fowey lifeboat stations were involved in a multi-agency operation on Monday night (12 June) to search for an overdue kayaker.

The kayaker who had set off from Whitsand Bay, had advised a person ashore of their plans but had not returned and was reported as overdue. Plymouth RNLI’s volunteer crew were tasked by Falmouth Coastguard at 12.13am to launch the Severn class all-weather lifeboat and Atlantic 85-class inshore lifeboat. Both lifeboats proceeded to carry out a shoreline search up to Rame Head using search lights.

Both Looe’s D and Atlantic class RNLI lifeboats were also tasked by the coastguard. All four lifeboats started to conduct the search patterns issued. Fowey all-weather lifeboat also joined the search at around 1.15am. The Coastguard Rescue helicopter (Rescue 175) from Lee-on-Solent arrived on scene at 2.50am and commenced search patterns further south of the lifeboats positions to expand the search area. 

As the searches progressed more assets arrived to help. 

After hours of searching, finally at 03.40am the Coastguard Rescue helicopter located the kayaker four nautical miles south of Rame Head. Plymouth’s all-weather lifeboat made best speed to the location lit from above by the helicopter. The casualty was recovered to the lifeboat. Rescue 175’s paramedic was requested to be winched onto the lifeboat to provide advanced casualty care. After a thorough medical assessment it was decided the best course of action would be for an ambulance to be requested to meet the lifeboat back at Millbay marina.

After confirming the casualty was now safe, all assets were stood down to return to station.