Whilst the volunteer crew were undergoing their weekly training exercise they were tasked by the coastguard to go to the aide of a female kayaker, who had become stuck in mud at low tide and having been there for four hours it was feared that she would become hyperthermic.
The crew managed to get from the Needles to Christchurch harbour within minutes, but due to the low water were unable to get the lifeboat directly to the kayak. Two crew members waded across the mud to assist the kayaker and get her and her kayak onto the lifeboat, and then return them both to the station as quickly as possible.
Although the kayaker was very tired and extremely cold from being out for such a lengthy time, no further medical assistance was required. Once at the station she was reunited with her sister, who had been kayaking with her and had put the emergency call into the coastguard.
Volunteer crew member Colin Walker, who was one of the crew that waded across to the kayaker says: ‘if you are going kayaking in shallow waters we would always advise that you check the tide tables before you depart, and if you are going to be out after daylight then reflective clothing and tape on your kayak are advisable along with a waterproof torch. This would assist any person looking for you if you should require help whilst at sea.’