How Long Before Someone Dies?


I’ve been saying it for a good few years now and the time is drawing near where one day a link will be posted on the net to the news of a kayak angler has drowned in the North Sea or in the UK whilst kayak fishing. Lads are taking more and more risks theses days. Maybe due to the poor weather we’ve had so far this year? Maybe they’re going out with the thought of “ah we’ll be ok inshore? Some guys work all week and can only get out on a weekend. Others can only do a mid week trip out alone and there’s other scenarios too but you must restrain from venturing out in rough conditions!

This latest incident happened on Sunday May 18th 2014 as reported in this report in the Journal online and should be a stark reminder of just how cruel the sea is! These two at least got to call the RNLI to rescue the lad that couldn’t re-enter his kayak.



At the time of this incident I was actually on a charter boat around Blyth and seen the rib fly past us on it’s way out to the rescue and four of the lads on our boat were throwing up most of the day and it was virtually impossible to walk about on the deck as the sea threw us around so what chance would you have out there on a 13ft piece of plastic? The guys asked me if I’d go out on a day like that and I said “no way, it’s too rough” and we chatted about where & when we go when we get out. I said “you” not see any kayak anglers out today” and I wish I’d been right!



Yes it’s great fun to do re-entry drills in a nice, calm harbour or estuary with friends or even alone where your in your depth and can easily recover if you get into difficulty but it’s out there on the rough sea where it matters! where the temperature of the water gives you one minute of life per degree of water and usually it’s around 7 – 8 degrees. Maybe 9-10 in summer in the North Sea. That gives the RNLI 7-8 minutes to get you you and get you out of the water. In the pics it looks like the lads wearing a dry suit but it’s clinging to him so was maybe holed or leaking? It also said that his yak started taking in water which led me to believe his hatch or hatches were open in swells of up to 8ft where we were. Some of the lads onboard the JFK Two said the swells were 10ft! MSW said it was 2-3ft which is also alarming!

The ONE thing that saved this guys life is the fact that he had a buddy with him who was able to call for help. If he hadn’t had a paddle buddy he probably wouldn’t of survived. A dry suit isn’t a survival suit but if he’d not had one on he’d probably not live to tell the tale.

Please don’t under estimate the sea and give it your utmost respect! Think of your loved ones sat at home and how much pain they’d suffer if you ‘vanished’ at sea! Be patient, your time will come.


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