Jurassic Sea Kayakers donate £2000 to Swanage Lifeboat Station
In October 2015 Swanage inshore lifeboat launched to a Mayday call to assist a group of kayakers who had called for assistance. The group of kayakers was quickly located on a rocky part of the shore in Durlston Bay and the volunteer crew were immediately directed to one of the kayakers who was experiencing some vision problems. An initial assessment did not identify any obvious problems, but the vision problems persisted and it was decided to take the casualty by lifeboat back to the lifeboat station so that he could receive medical attention.
In response to the Mayday call, the Swanage HM Coastguard and a Coastguard helicopter had also been tasked to the incident. With a helicopter landing site close to the lifeboat station the casualty was able to be transferred from the lifeboat to the helicopter and flown to Poole hospital where it was discovered that the casualty, Steve, had suffered a stroke.
Unbeknown to Steve an abnormality in his brain had caused the stroke, despite being otherwise fit and healthy. As the vision problems came about whilst he was at sea he required the services of the RNLI to get help in an otherwise inaccessible location. The quick evacuation from this location and fast emergency care enabled Steve to be treated quickly and to return to his love of sea kayaking.
Following his diagnosis and subsequent recovery, Steve was told his chances of survival had been 20%, and that seeking help when his vision deteriorated probably saved his life. After this frightening experience, Steve wanted to raise awareness of the work of the RNLI and also the importance of carrying the right equipment, as Steve and his group did on that day, which enabled them to radio for help.
Steve decided to raise some money for Swanage RNLI and as part of the fundraising decided to arrange a group of Jurassic Sea Kayakers to visit Swanage again for a training exercise with the Swanage lifeboats. After the exercise the volunteer crew at Swanage were delighted to accept a cheque for £2000.
Lifeboat crew member Becky Mack, who attended Steve’s rescue in 2015 said “It was both humbling and inspiring to meet Steve again this year, thankfully in much better circumstances. I remember thinking at the time how well prepared the group of kayakers were, which in hindsight clearly contributed to saving Steve’s life. We are so grateful for this donation and for Steve raising awareness of carrying the correct equipment at sea”.