Teen who clung to capsized kayak for over two hours rescued from water

The search involved lifeboats, local fishing vessels and a coastguard helicopter.

Teenager who clung to capsized kayak for over two hours rescued from water by RNLI and coastguard near Skye Nicholas Leach/RNLI

A teenager who clung on to his upturned kayak for more than two hours after he capsized was rescued by a lifeboat on Wednesday.

The Kyle RNLI lifeboat was launched shortly after 5.30pm on February 21 after receiving a call that a 17-year-old had capsized while kayaking in Broadford Bay, off the Isle of Skye, and was clinging to the upturned kayak.

The teenager had raised the alarm by using his mobile phone to contact a family member when he capsized but they were unable to get back in touch with him.

Rescue crews arrived at around 5.40pm along with the Portree lifeboat around 40 minutes later.

They searched the area, with help from local fishing vessels, and at 6.40pm a coastguard helicopter arrived at the scene.

The helicopter located the teenager still clinging to his upturned kayak, and Kyle lifeboat retrieved him from the water.

Norman Finlayson, helm for Kyle’s RNLI Lifeboat, said: “The casualty was an experienced kayaker who was well equipped to be out on the water.

“Conditions were good when he went out, however, unfortunately, they began to deteriorate quite quickly.

“He did exactly the correct thing in taking and using his mobile phone to raise the alarm, and then staying with his kayak until he was located.

“He was wearing all the correct clothing to be out on the water, which made all the difference when spending that amount of time in the water.”

After assessing the teenager, the lifeboat crew began warming him up as he had been in the water for more than two hours.

They took him to the pier in Broadford where they handed him over to the care of the Scottish Ambulance Service.

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