Two men were rescued from the sea, off the Yorkshire coast, after the coastguard was alerted to their plight by a member of the public using a telescope.
The RNLI said the outcome could have been “dramatically different” if a member of the public had not spotted one of the men’s capsized kayaks through a home telescope earlier today.
The men had been riding the waves in their kayaks for an hour or two when a strong swell combined with a cold wind saw one of the vessels capsize near Scarborough’s east pier.
The pair struggled to turn the boat over and the man in the water was exhausted and cold. With his companion’s help, he struggled to haul himself onto his overturned kayak.
Their difficulties were spotted by a man looking from a telescope from his home on the shore and the RNLI was called out by the coastguard just before noon.
Luck was on the side of the kayakers, who also used a VHF radio to send out a Mayday distress call which was seen by a nearby fishing boat and its crew pulled the man in the water into their boat.
The inshore lifeboat arrived moments later and helped the other kayaker to safety.
Both men were taken to the lifeboat house.
The man who had been in the water, who was from Stranraer, said it was the first time in 30 years of kayaking that he had needed the RNLI.
He said: “It’s a fantastic service they provide and I am extremely appreciative of their help today.”
John Senior, lifeboat operations manager, said: “A VHF radio is an essential bit of kit for anyone putting to sea and we can’t stress too highly how important it is to carry one.”