By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 31 October 2022 • 12:10
Helicopter rescue - Image Screengrab NU television
The unnamed 28-year-old was rescued by a Dutch fishing vessel who found him clinging to a buoy in just his swimming trunks.
Extremely lucky to have survived the cold and the many vessels that traverse these waters, he told his rescuers that he ate seaweed and drank seawater to survive.
The Mirror who spoke to Dutch fisherman Tunis Van Luut, said that the man was unable to tell them much as he was dehydrated and suffering from hyperthermia.
He did, however, claim to have been at sea for more than four days after trying to paddle the more than 1,100 kilometres in an inflatable kayak.
11:27 (October 28) – A British kayaker who was trying to paddle across the English Channel to France has been rescued after his inflatable capsized.
According to Dutch news Nu on Friday, October 28 the man was found in just his swimming trunks clinging to a buoy, by Dutch fisherman.
The man told crew that he had been there for nearly 48 hours after his kayak capsized.
Captain, Teunis de Boer, said he spotted him as they were sailing across the sea. He said he saw him “waving like a madman.”
The crew hauled the man aboard and gave him lifesaving assistance, with his body temperature having dropped to 26C. He was also covered in bruises and said to be dehydrated.
In true lifesaving fashion, he was given a snickers bar and wrapped in blankets. They then contacted the coastguard, which resulted in the French sending a helicopter out to rescue the man, who was taken to a hospital in Boulogne.
The French coastguard told Sky News: “This morning, very early in the morning, a fishing vessel reported that a man in his thirties seemed to have taken refuge on the Colbart Nord buoy, located in the middle of the traffic of Pas de Calais. The fishing vessel rescued the shipwrecked person and picked him up on board. This man had left the British coast about 48 hours earlier, to try to cross the Channel on an inflatable kayak. The castaway is conscious, but his state of health requires rapid treatment.”
It is amazing the unnamed individual survived with the channel one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world and the water temperatures enough to kill most people.
The British kayaker who was rescued halfway to France will have much to tell his friends and family, no doubt many will be wondering what possessed him to think he could make the crossing on an inflatable kayak and at this time of year.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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