'Lessons to be learned' from canoe drama

A CANOE club union last night promised “lessons will be learned” from a probe into how five people needed to be rescued from the North Sea in gale-force winds.

A CANOE club union last night promised “lessons will be learned” from a probe into how five people needed to be rescued from the North Sea in gale-force winds.

A 12-year-old boy and a 63-year-old man were airlifted to Ipswich Hospital suffering suspected hypothermia after the canoeists capsized in rough seas about half-a-mile off Felixstowe at 12.30pm on Sunday.

A total of five people from Ipswich Canoe Club were rescued by lifeboats, with two of the party taken to hospital by the Wattisham-based RAF search and rescue helicopter.

Douglas Peck, chairman of Ipswich Canoe Club, said the club's committee will compile a report on the incident and hand it to the British Canoe Union (BCU).


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He said: “We take this very seriously. We will speak to the people involved and file a report to the BCU.

“This was very unfortunate and we are extremely grateful to the emergency services. I saw the two people taken to taken to hospital last night and they're fine. They were released from hospital pretty quickly.”

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Last night the BCU said it was considering launching an investigation into the incident.

A spokeswoman said: “We will make sure that any lessons are learned that need to be. This information will be passed on to the clubs.”

The decision to take to the sea in stormy conditions was branded “unbelievable” by lifeboat officials on Sunday.

The party of five is said to have consisted of three boys - two of whom were thought to be brothers - and two men.

The alarm was raised by the father of one of the boys in the canoes, who was watching from the shore.

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