At 11.40am this morning, Sunday 24 February, Swansea coastguard received a Mayday call from a fishing boat off Sker Beach, Porthcawl, stating they had picked a capsized canoeist out of the water, who was suffering from the early stages of hypothermia, and required immediate assistance to get to shore.

Swansea Coastguard immediately tasked both lifeboats from Porthcawl RNLI, and the first boat, the D Class was on scene within 5 minutes of launching. Ross Purchase, the RNLI volunteer Helmsman said, “when we got to the fishing boat, the canoeist was very cold, and in obvious need of medical assistance. I instructed my crew to get the canoeist off the fishing boat onto our lifeboat, and start our way back to the lifeboat station”.

As the lifeboat was heading back to the station, it was met by the faster Porthcawl RNLI Atlantic Class Lifeboat, who took the canoeist onto their boat, and made quick speed to the lifeboat station where the canoeist received some fist aid by the crew, and was taken to hospital by the Ambulance service.

RNLI Helmsman Simon Emms said, ‘it was a good job that the crew of the fishing boat spotted the canoeist in the water when they did. If he had been in the freezing water for a few minutes longer, the outcome would have been totally different. When we arrived at the Lifeboat Station, we put our fist aid training straight into use, and made the canoeist stable until the arrival of the ambulance.”