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Fishing vessel aids Big Cove Race kayakers
COASTGUARDS have praised the actions of a fishing vessel which helped kayakers who were apparently in difficulties.
The kayakers were trying to retrieve a race marker that had been blown off shore while setting up for the Big Cove Race at Bowleaze Cove.
Skipper of the FV Jessamine reported the incident on Sunday morning to Portland Coastguard and helped one of the kayakers to shore.
Crew on the charter vessel Enchantress also helped.
Ken Francis, of Weymouth RNLI, said: “One of the race marks had blown off the beach.
“The kayakers were trying to retrieve it but due to the offshore wind, they were unable to make it back to shore.
“The inshore lifeboat crew retrieved the four race marks and returned them to the shore, then returned to the kayakers and assisted four of them to the beach.”
Race organiser Mark Steen, of Bustinskin Events, said the kayakers were qualified RYA instructors and had not been in any danger.
He said: “The race marks got blown off the beach and we went to retrieve them.
“A passing boat thought we were in difficulties with the wind and gave them a lift back to shore, but it was nothing really.”
The incident happened before the race had started and went ahead after the buoys were set out.
Philip Chappell, of Portland Coastguard, said the incident showed the importance of letting the service know that such events were going on.
A spokesman for Portland Coastguard said: “Wyke Coast-guards attended at the cove and discovered that a hitherto un-briefed race event was in progress and consequently gave safety advice to the organisers.”
Mr Chappell added: “Fore-warned is forearmed and it would be nice to be aware of these things.
“The local vessels that helped in this instance were a great help and by the time the lifeboat was on scene it was more or less under control.
“But it was lucky the kayakers were caught before the wind took them out.”
Mr Steen said he had intended to let coastguards know about the race.
He said: “I had actually just picked up the phone to speak to them when the buoy went into the water.
“We work very closely with the coastguards all the time and are very safety aware.”
Search for sea racers
IN June, a kayak race at Lulworth Cove sparked a major operation by Portland Coastguard to make sure everyone was accounted for.
One man was rescued after capsizing near Durdle Door and coastguards spent around three hours checking the safety of around 40 more participants.
The organisers had not informed coastguards that the kayak race was taking place.
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