Praise for lifeboat crew after cliffside rescue

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FOUR holidaymakers, including a six-year-old child, were rescued by lifeboat crew after running into difficulty with their inflatable kayaks.

Russell Barton has praised the fast response of the Hastings Lifeboat crew who came to their aid on Saturday, October 1.

Russell, his wife Rebecca, and son, Sonny, from Tunbridge Wells, were along with two friends, returning to Hastings after a day trip along the coast.

They ran into difficulties at around 7pm when the motor of one of the kayaks caught on the one containing Mr Barton and his family, causing a puncture.

The group was left stranded in one kayak, with the outgoing tide threatening to pull them into the rocks at Fairlight.

Mr Barton managed to drag the kayak to shore, and keep it from drifting, while his friend dialled 999 on his mobile phone.

Mr Barton said: “The temperature that day had been 29C, everything was wonderful.

“By the time we were on the rocks, it was dark. It was quite a frightening experience, I was worried about my son, who has a chest infection.”

The lifeboat arrived within 10 minutes of the call and carried the group to safety, where Mr Barton was treated for mild hypothermia. No one else was injured.

A spokesman for Hastings Lifeboat said: “Always let someone know where you are going and when you will be back, and make sure to carry a good waterproof method of communication.”

He added that it was not safe to rely on a mobile phone, as the signal may not always be available.