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Kayaker saved from drowning

What Happened
What Caused
Adverse environmental conditions
Casualty type/Qty
Causal Factors
Near miss
Injury Details
Near miss

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Description of Incident
A KAYAKER was saved from drowning after getting into difficulty off the coast at Redcar last night.

Redcar RNLI launched a rescue mission after being alerted by the mans girlfriend just before 9pm.

The man, from the Teesside area, had set off from Redcar to paddle to the South Gare at 6.30pm.

His girlfriend became anxious that he had not arrived at the mouth of the River Tees and dialled 999.

Both RNLI lifeboats from Redcar were launched and began a search from towards the South Gare lighthouse.

While the search was underway a member of the public phoned the coastguards to say they could see an object in the sea near the lighthouse. The lifeboat volunteers found the man clinging to his capsized kayak. He was brought aboard and taken back to the lifeboat station for treatment for severe hypothermia.

RNLI volunteer Paul Calvert, a trainee paramedic with North East Ambulance Service, who helped treat the man, said: "He wasn't in very good shape when he was brought back to the lifeboat station.

"He was extremely cold and had cyanosis (bluish discoloration) round his lips, meaning he had poor oxygen levels in his blood.

'We started re-warming him and gave him oxygen until an ambulance arrived.'

Dave Cocks, acting Lifeboat Operations Manager, said: "This was a rescue that undoubtedly saved the man's life.

"When he was brought into the lifeboat station he was very poorly. He told us he had been in the water for about 45 minutes.

"We removed all his wet clothing, wrapped him in blankets and gave him oxygen. He was showing signs of severe hypothermia. He had lost muscle control and he wouldn't have kept himself afloat for much longer.

"The crews of both the Redcar lifeboats performed exceptionally well and the speed of the rescue meant that the man was ashore and getting treatment in the shortest time possible."

The man was taken by ambulance to the James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough.
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