At 12.30pm on Friday afternoon, both Porthcawl RNLI lifeboats Rose of the Shires and Jean Ryall launched to reports of 2 kayakers in difficulty off Ogmore by Sea.
First on scene was the Atlantic 85 Lifeboat, Rose of the Shires, with Helmsman Joseph Missen in Command. When they arrived at Ogmore by Sea, they made contact with the first kayaker who informed them that his friend had not reached shore, and that he was still in difficulty in the sea.
Due to the conditions at sea, and the amount of time the person had been in the water, Helmsman Joseph Missen then asked for further assistance from other lifeboats, and a search and rescue helicopter.
Porthcawl’s D Class lifeboat was then launched immediately under the command of Volunteer Helmsman Paul Eastment, and made quick speed to Ogmore by Sea to assist in the search.
Within 10 minutes of arriving at Ogmore by Sea, they were informed that a member of the public could see a person in the water off Hardy’s Bay, just half mile east of Ogmore by Sea. The lifeboats then made their way there, and quickly found the kayaker in the water. They pulled him into the lifeboat, and it was clear that he was suffering from severe hypothermia, and as the helicopter was in the area, the helicopter winched the kayaker from the lifeboat and took him straight to hospital.
Deputy Launching Authority Aileen Jones said, “thanks to the quick thinking and actions of our volunteer RNLI Crew members, who all responded promptly to this call from their places of work, school and homes, to crew the lifeboats meant that this rescue came to a successful conclusion, with the kayaker found, and taken to hospital by helicopter. Our RNLI Volunteer crew members give up their own time to train twice every week for this type of rescue. We would just like to remind people who use the sea to ensure that they inform a friend or relative that they are going to sea, and let them know what time and where they will be returning to. Also, where practical, try not to go alone, always with a friend.”