Falmouth Coastguard received several 999 calls after a red flare was spotted between Falmouth and the Helford River (MCA Press Release)
Falmouth Coastguard sent the volunteer Coastguards from Falmouth Coastguard Rescue team to search the shoreline and the RNLI All-weather Lifeboat and Inshore Boat from Falmouth to search the water. The Royal Navy Rescue Helicopter from RNAS Culdrose was also sent to join in the search.
In heavy seas with poor visibility, and with the support of the Tanker Cape Daly which was anchored in Falmouth Bay, the inshore boat quickly located one kayaker who had capsized and was in the sea. He told the crew of the Inshore Lifeboat that a second kayaker was also missing. He was found minutes later by the helicopter out of his boat and in the water. He was winched by the helicopter and both kayakers were then flown to hospital in Truro with suspected hypothermia.
The Falmouth All-weather Lifeboat was able to recover both kayaks and one of the paddles to avoid any confusion should they be spotted in the sea or washed ashore.
Falmouth Coastguard Watch Manager Peter Bullard said we understand they are experienced kayakers and were well equipped but they're still lucky that in such poor weather their distress flare was seen.
We always advise anyone venturing onto the sea in such challenging conditions to be realistic about their abilities and always advise their nearest Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre of their intentions.