Emergency services highlight the importance of water safety after recent deployment

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West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is urging people to be water aware when out at sea ahead of NFCC’s Water Safety Week which runs from 23rd-29th April.

On Saturday night (April 14th), crews from Chichester, Bognor and our Technical Rescue Unit were mobilised to assist the Coastguard with a complex water rescue in Fishbourne.

On arrival, firefighters were able to locate the kayaker who became stranded after getting stuck in marshland when returning home, due to the change in tide conditions.

Fire crews and the Coastguard worked together to rescue the male and handed him over to the care of paramedics who were able to treat the casualty and convey him to hospital.

Station Manager and Water Safety Officer, Marvin Smith, said: “Many people are unaware of the risks that the water can have and are not prepared for the utmost worst situation.

“Fortunately two people passing by were alerted to the incident when they heard a distress whistle – upon investigation they raised the alarm, prompting the deployment of emergency services. Their quick thinking prevented a serious incident from occurring as the outcome could have been much worse.”

Tips to stay safe when out at sea:

  • Know the area that you are in – take a map with you just in case you become lost or disorientated
  • Ensure someone at home knows your passage plan (including points of arrival, timescale, departure and number in group)
  • Wear a buoyancy aid and check that equipment is functioning properly
  • Have good provisions for your trip
  • Take working communications with you to alert emergency services if an issue were to arise
  • Don’t take any risks! If you do encounter a problem, ring 999 immediately

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is at the heart of West Sussex County Council’s Communities and Public Protection Directorate, working to support communities to become safer, stronger and more resilient through a combination of prevention, protection and response activities.

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