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April 25 2013.

Volunteers from Newhaven's RNLI lifeboat station were launched on yesterday at 14:09 by Solent Coastguard after a Mayday call from a kayaker who was in distress in foggy conditions.

The kayaker had radioed the distress call after falling in the water and was unable to get back on board his kayak. When entering the water the casualty had swallowed a large volume of salt water and was very cold despite being well prepared and in a dry suit.

Newhaven's Severn Class lifeboat 'RNLB David and Elizabeth Acland' proceeded to the approximate position given by the casualty. Once in the area the lifeboat used the direction finding (DF) equipment to track the casualty down using the signal from his VHF radio.

Once alongside the casualty was lifted out of the water and transferred onto the lifeboat. The kayak was then recovered onto the Newhaven lifeboat which quickly returned to Newhaven Lifeboat Station, where the exhausted kayaker was met by the Sussex Ambulance Service.

Newhaven lifeboat was ready for service at 15:20
Newhaven lifeboat Coxswain Paul Legendre explained: "Thankfully the kayaker was well prepared with all the right safety equipment. It just shows that even with the best preparation things can go wrong. With the VHF radio he could raise the alarm and get assistance. Without the VHF radio in the cold and foggy conditions it could have been a very different outcome."