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  1. ITV Report

Kayaker rescued after trying to cross from St Bees to IoM

RNLI Douglas lifeboat Sir William Hillary leaving harbour Photo: Mike Howland, RNLI

Five members of crew from the Isle of Man and Cumbria Royal National Lifeguard Institution (RNLI) were called out to assist a capsized kayak on Saturday.

The Douglas and St Bees stations were paged around 9:30am to locate Terry Hartley whose kayak had capsized in choppy seas five miles west of St Bees Head.

Fellow RNLI volunteers from Ramsey, Workington and Barrow, as well as the Coastguards Search and Rescue helicopter, and Maryport's Inshore Rescue boat, joined in with the rescue effort.

Following an extensive search lasting nearly two hours, the helicopter located the man and his boat.

Mr Hartley was taken by helicopter to Workington RNLI’s lifeboat station and given a shower and a hot drink.

Workington's boat Shannon picked up the kayak and reunited it with its owner back at their station.

I wasn't panicking. I thought that one way or another I'd get out of it. I understand the power of the sea. I'd chosen a calm day, it was just a wave that caught me. I just wanted to do something different and have an adventure.

– Terry Hartley
Terry Hartley before he set off to kayak. Credit: St Bees RNLI
St Bees lifeboat launch. Credit: Colin Wadey, RNLI

It was great to see five lifeboats, the Coastguard and an independent lifeboat all working together to achieve a great outcome; it could have ended very differently. It was good to see that the kayaker was wearing all the correct safely equipment which undoubtedly helped save his life, but a VHF radio and a small pack of distress flares would have made locating him a lot quicker.

– Dick Beddows, St Bees RNLI Operation Manager