Two canoeists rescued from Bristol Channel

PUBLISHED: 09:44 01 July 2011 | UPDATED: 09:53 01 July 2011

Canoeist airlifted to hospital after suffering from hypothermia in the Bristol Channel.

Canoeist airlifted to hospital after suffering from hypothermia in the Bristol Channel.

Archant

One man was treated for hypothermia after he and a fellow canoeist got into trouble near Steep Holm Island due to bad weather

TWO canoeists were rescued from the Bristol channel after they ran into trouble near Steep Holm Island in Weston.

The canoeists had been out in Weston when the weather deteriorated and the RAF helicopter and Weston RNLI lifeboats were called to search for them.

RNLI volunteers were paged by Swansea Coastguard just before 3pm yesterday (Thurs) and two lifeboats were launched within six minutes of the call.

Windy conditions had carried the canoeists off course, but realising this the lifeboat crews altered their course and quickly found the two men.

The tide was very strong and the two canoeists were not able to keep water out of their boats.

One man had been in the water for 45 minutes and was suffering from hypothermia. He was quickly taken into the lifeboat but when the crew examined him they were concerned that he could deteriorate very quickly.

The helicopter was called over and the man was flown to Weston beach and then taken to Weston General Hospital where he was treated for hypothermia. He soon recovered and was released later that day.

The second man was in much better condition and kept in the lifeboat. Both canoes were taken on board and, along with the canoeist, were taken back to the Lifeboat station.

Helmsman Andy Stone said: “These two were well equipped but even so had been caught out as the weather and conditions in the Bristol Channel can deteriorate so quickly.

“However this is what we train for and it is very satisfying to know that the crew have saved two lives today.”

One of the canoeists told the crew: “What sterling work you do. I cannot believe what you did for us.”

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