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Elderly man rescued by RNLI after kayak capsizes off South Shields coast

RNLI lifeguards rescued a 62-year-old man whose kayak had capsized in the water offshore from South Shields.'Photo by RNLI Nathan Williams.
RNLI lifeguards rescued a 62-year-old man whose kayak had capsized in the water offshore from South Shields.'Photo by RNLI Nathan Williams.

An elderly man was rescued by RNLI lifeguards after his kayak capsized in the water offshore from South Shields.

The 62-year-old man was rescued at 10.20am on Saturday, July 7, after the charity’s lifeguards spotted that he was in difficulty around 500m out to sea.

It became apparent that the kayak’s bungs had become undone and water was quickly filling the vessel, causing it to capsize.

RNLI lifeguard Luke Dixon immediately swam out on a rescue board and requested the inshore rescue boat from Sandhaven Beach, which was manned by Tom Spencer and Aaron Curle.

All three lifeguards reached the casualty within minutes and brought him back to shore in the rescue boat, where he received aftercare and had fortunately not received any serious injuries.

RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, Alex Richardson said: ‘The lifeguards did an incredible job and immediately took action when they noticed the kayaker was in danger and needed their help.

"Kayaking is one of the UK’s most popular water sports, but it is also classed as a high risk sport by the RNLI.

"We urge all kayakers, novice or seasoned professional, to always carry a means of calling for help and keep it within easy reach.

"We would also advise kayakers, and canoeists, to wear a flotation device, to let people know where you’re going and when you’ll be back, and to check the weather and tides before heading out."

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), the charity that saves lives at sea, began this year’s kayaking campaign in May and is urging kayakers to take heed of their advice and build it into their routine before they enter the water.

How to stay safe:

Always carry a means of calling for help and keep it within reach: If it can't be reached in an emergency, it's no help.

Wear a personal flotation device.

Check the weather and tides.

Tell someone where you’re going and when you'll be back.

Wear appropriate clothing for the conditions and your trip.

Get some training: Contact your local canoe club and look for coaching sessions run by a British Canoeing or Canoeing Ireland coach.