Wrong life jacket nearly has tragic consequences for kayakers

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The coastguard has issued a warning to kayakers after the use of the wrong kind of life jacket nearly had tragic consequences.

The coastguard were called out to Bill Point on Friday (August 5) afternoon when a kayak with a father and daughter in capsized.

The daughter managed to swim to shore, but the father was swept away from his kayak and from a beacon he tried to cling to.

The life jackets they were wearing were the wrong kind for kayaking and failed to inflate.

Coxswain at Selsey RNLI, Martin Rudwick said: “This incident highlights the need to use the correct equipment according to the circumstances both casualties were under a false illusion that they would be safe wearing these lifejackets in a kayak.”

The lifeboat Betty and Thomas Moore was launched at 2.51pm, to Bill Point, to rescue the man, who failed to hang on to the beacon after suffering severe cuts to his hands and legs from the barnacles.

Luckily the daughter had managed to swim safely ashore.

At 2.55pm the lifeboat crew dragged him aboard their boat.

The man was very distressed, exhausted and close to drowning. The crew rushed him back to the lifeboat station where he was given first aid and oxygen therapy.

The pair were taken to St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester as a precaution against secondary drowning as they had swallowed seawater.

By the following day both were fine if somewhat shaken and subdued by the preceding day’s events.