Last night Milford Haven Coastguard on the far side of the Irish Sea received an emergency call alerting them to two missing kayakers. The married couple in their late 60s and early seventies, who live in Crosswell, had departed from Moylegrove earlier in the day in two single kayaks bound for Long Beach at Newport and had not yet arrived.
Neither was very experienced. Although they had wetsuits and lifejackets, they were not carrying any other safety equipment. Both were believed to be strong swimmers.
A friend had expected them around 4.00 pm, and after having seen no sign of them by 7.30 pm this evening had become sufficiently worried to contact the Coastguard.
The RNLI all weather and inshore lifeboats from Fishguard were requested to launch and Coastguard Rescue Teams from Moylegrove and Fishguard were also sent to the area to begin a ground search along the shoreline. Two further lifeboats from Cardigan were asked to launch and join the search from the north.
Barry Scott, the local Coastguard Sector Manager also joined the search in order to direct his Rescue Teams in their searches from Cemaes Head to Moylegrove.
The weather on scene was calm this evening with occasional rain, westerly winds of Force 3 to 4 with a smooth or slight sea.
By 8.20 pm this evening as darkness fell, concern mounted and a rescue helicopter was called in to begin searching from the air. The local Police were kept informed throughout.
At 9.24 the couple were located on the shoreline by the aircraft crew and were taken by the Coastguard back to their car whilst their kayaks were taken back to Fishguard by the all weather lifeboat.
Kevin Rogers, Watch Manager at Milford Haven Coastguard said
“We are naturally delighted to have found this couple safe and well. We have expressed our concerns however to them about their lack of safety equipment, particularly some form of communication and preferably a hand held VHF radio. They were carrying a mobile phone but as they became washed in to the shoreline under a cliff the signal was lost. No flares were being carried nor any other more advanced forms of distress alert. Fortunately the weather was reasonably kind to us tonight and our thanks are due to all the search and rescue units who turned out very promptly for us this evening.”