At 17:30 today, we were tasked by HM Coastguard to search for an inflatable kayak that had been reported drifting away from Sandgate beach by a member of the public.
Our inshore lifeboat Rescue 4 carried out a search along the coast for the kayak, but instead spotted five individuals on two inflatable mattresses one mile off the coastline. The occupants were drifting out to sea with no paddles or way of getting back.
Rescue 4 recovered all five individuals, safely returning them to the beach. After giving some safety advice, the search for the kayak was resumed.
It was eventually established that the inflatable kayak had already returned to shore, and we were stood down by UK Coastguard.
Inflatables Safety Advice
Do not use inflatables at the beach.
- If you use an inflatable at the beach, you are at risk of being taken out to sea by the wind or tide.
- Even a gentle breeze can quickly move inflatables away from the beach.
- Children using inflatables in the water are especially at risk from this.