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Exhaustion Takes Toll On German Kayaker Off Cornwall

26th June 2015
Exhaustion Takes Toll On German Kayaker Off Cornwall

#Kayaking - Just days after embarking on an ambitious kayaking expedition from Kinsale to Germany, pizza oven company boss Hendrik Lepel was picked up by the RNLI after calling for help off Cornwall.

Padstow's volunteer lifeboat launched around 12am in the early hours of yesterday morning (Thursday 25 June) to rescue the German kayaker, who was suffering from fatigue after 30 hours at sea and unsure how to reach Padstow Harbour.

Quickly locating the four-metre kayak The Flying Northman, which was set up with an outrigger and sails, the crew took the tired casualty onboard and towed the kayak into Padstow where his support crew were waiting. 

"It was a beautifully calm and flat night, with very light winds," said deputy second coxswain and mechanic Michael England. "The chap had been at sea for 30 hours and was extremely tired.

"Although he was also equipped with an outboard engine, he’d used the fuel and under sail it would have been a long passage into Padstow.  Unfamiliar with the area, he was also unsure of the best way into the harbour.

"He did exactly the right thing to call for help, and although it was a late night for the crew, we didn’t get back to the station until 2.20am, we were happy to help him out."

Here's hoping Lepel – who admitted earlier to "not being experienced" at offshore kayaking – can resume his journey to Rostock in time to meet the tall ships without further incident!

Published in Kayaking
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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