A kayaker celebrating his 75th Birthday was rescued by Dartmouth Britannia Royal Navy College staff after he got into difficulty in the water.
The male was one of two 75-year-old kayakers who had planned to paddle from Totnes to Dartmouth when the incident unfolded on 27th April.
As the duo navigated past Sandquay, where the Royal Navy’s picket boats from the nearby Britannia Royal Naval College are moored, the strong current swept one of them against the pontoon.
After hitting the pontoon, the male capsized.
His cries for help were heard by Babcock staff, who provide shore services for the world-renown college.
They immediately called 999 to report the incident to the Coastguard who paged RNLI Dart lifeboat volunteers.
The life-savers were on the scene within 7 minutes of the emergency call being received.
Two of the quick-thinking Babcock team put a strop under the kayaker’s arms as they hung on to him as he was clutching the rope they had thrown to him.
The Babcock staff were able to lift the casualty out of the water, remove some of his soaking clothes and provide him with a thermal blanket.
The Dartmouth Coastguard team guided the second kayaker to land on the pontoon to join his friend safely.
The RNLI volunteer crew members then passed the casualty over to the care of South Western Ambulance Service medics, who checked him over before he was taken to Totnes hospital.
A spokesman for the Dart RNLI lifeboat said:
“What a way to spend your 75th birthday!”
Captain Roger Readwin also congratulated and thanked the first responders and the Babcock Sandquay staff for their prompt actions.