Exmouth kayaker dies in capsize tragedy off Budleigh Salterton last night
A 20-year-old Exmouth kayaker has tragically died after capsizing off Budleigh Salterton last night.
A two hour search and rescue operation was launched at around 7.15pm.
It is understood the young man had been kayaking with a friend and when his boat overturned he offered to swim ashore as his friend towed his kayak.
He was last seen in the shore surf before disappearing.
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The Exmouth RNLI, who were already out on a training exercise, were immediately dispatched to the scene. Both the in-shore and all-weather lifeboats were tasked.
Exmouth coastguards and the Sidmouth Lifeboat also joined in the search.
The coastguard helicopter from Portland was tasked and located the young man in the water off the beach.
A rescuer was winched down to him and he was given extended CPR on the beach.
He was taken to Dorchester Hospital in the helicopter where it is understood he was pronounced dead on arrival.
It is understood the kayaker was wearing a wetsuit but did not have a lifejacket on.
Next of kin have been informed.
Sidmouth lifeboat member, Mark Roden, said: “The RNLI were out training so were pretty much at the scene straight away.
“We were tasked at just before 9pm to search the water from the east, from Black Head which is about half way between Sidmouth and Otter Ledge, in case the casualty had drifted that far.
“As well as search lights the boat is fitted with night sights which pick up heat in order to detect someone who may be in the water.
“We had only been on the water around 10 minutes when the helo located the casualty who was given CPR all the way to hospital.”
Paul Howell, station officer at Exmouth Coastguard, offered the condolences of the team to the family and friends of the young man, who is yet to be named.
He added: “At approximately 7.35pm last night, Portland Coastguard Rescue Coordination Centre requested the assistance of Exmouth Coastguard Rescue Team, to search Budleigh Salterton for a missing Kayaker.
“After an extensive search involving Exmouth Coastguard Rescue Team, Exmouth All Weather Lifeboat, Exmouth Inshore Lifeboat, Sidmouth Lifeboat and the Coastguard Helicopter from Portland, the casualty was located directly off Budleigh Salterton seafront and recovered to the beach.
“Extended CPR was administered by Exmouth coastguard paramedics and the winchman/paramedic from the coastguard helicopter before he was airlifted by coastguard helicopter to Dorchester Hospital.
“Our thoughts an condolences are with the family and friends of the casualty at this very distressing time.”