Belfast Coastguard received a 999 call this afternoon reporting an overturned kayak 300 yards away from Culzean castle off the Ayrshire coast.

Belfast requested the Rescue helicopter from Prestwick to scramble, and the Girvan all weather lifeboat and the Girvan and Ayr Coastguard Rescue Teams to attend the scene.

The helicopter located the casualty swiftly due to the precise location details given by the informant. He was winched aboard the helicopter from Culzean bay and then transferred to Ayr hospital where he is being treated for hypothermia.  The Girvan lifeboat managed to recover the kayak with the assistance of the Girvan and Ayr Coastguard Rescue Team members.

Belfast Watch manager, Lawrence Cumming said

We were concerned for this mans safety, we would like to take this opportunity to give the following safety advice to kayakers

Ensure that someone knows your passage plan including points of arrival and departure.  Check weather forecasts and ensure that your skill levels are appropriate for where you are kayaking.  Wear a buoyancy aid and check that equipment is functioning properly, that your distress flares are in date and are stowed where you can reach them.

Carry a vhf marine band radio (fitted with DSC if possible), learn how to use it and practice with it. Call the Coastguard if you get into difficulty, preferably via channel 16 on your radio or if not by calling 999 and asking for the coastguard.

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