A KAYAKER was rescued from the North Sea by volunteer lifeboat crews after being found clinging to his upturned kayak off Walton.

Clacton and Harwich RNLI’s Atlantic Class lifeboats crews were called into action shortly after 8pm on Thursday.

They were tasked by the UK Coastguard to search for someone clinging to an upturned kayak north of Walton Pier.

RNLI Harwich’s lifeboat was first on scene, having been afloat on routine exercises, and pulled the man from the sea.

They were shortly joined by Clacton’s lifeboat, which has a paramedic crew member onboard.

A spokesman for both crews said: “It was deemed appropriate they take the lead in the care of the casualty, so we transferred the paramedic to the Harwich lifeboat.

“The Clacton lifeboat then collected the kayak and took it to the beach.

“The casualty was also taken to the beach and transferred to the care of the Walton Coastguard Rescue Team, and paramedics from the East of England Ambulance Service.”

Both lifeboat crews were stood down and returned to their respective stations by 9.10pm.

The spokesperson wished the casualty a speedy recovery.

He added: “Even though the training and collaboration between the two crews was a contributor in the good outcome, the biggest factor that made for such a good outcome in this case was that the kayaker was wearing a buoyancy aid.

“‘We would recommend anyone going afloat wear a personal floatation device and carry a means of calling for help.”