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Kayaker injured in 'collision' at sea

By Herald Express  |  Posted: September 29, 2011

INJURED: Kayaker Nigel Hatton

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A KAYAKER is recovering in intensive care after suffering complications from an operation following a collision at sea.

Nigel Hatton, 48, from Brixham, was in his kayak between Goodrington Sands and Brixham when he was in collision with the rigid-hulled inflatable boat Smuggler.

The 'chase boat' was taking part in an Offshore Model Racing Association event on September 18 where a model boat is piloted around at sea.

Mr Hatton was recovered by the crew of the rhib and taken to Brixham slipway and met by Coastguards and paramedics.

After undergoing an operation at Torbay Hospital he was transferred for specialist treatment.

But mum June said since he had trouble breathing, suffering a blood clot and a partially collapsed lung, and is recovering in intensive care.

It is thought his condition is now stable and he will be transferred to a mainstream ward this week.

She said he completed an Eskimo roll during the incident, which left his kayak split in two.

Offshore Model Racing Association secretary and event race organiser on the day Tony Ellis said: "We've not had anything like this in the history of the club. We have been going since 1971.

"There would have been four of them in the chase boat. There is the driver, the model boat driver, the pit man and a spare."

Driver Robert McCarthy said: "We brought him back to shore in what must have been less than a minute. Other than that, I don't want to add anything further as there will be an investigation".

A spokesman for Brixham Harbour confirmed that an investigation is ongoing into the incident and a final report with possible recommendations will be prepared. Statements from Mr Hatton were delayed through his injuries. The Marine Accident Investigation Branc have also been informed.

Mr Hatton spent a week in Torbay Hospital and a month off work back in 2000 after a windsurfing accident at Galmpton Creek on the River Dart.

Before ending up in intensive care, he posted online: "It was my first day in the UK for several months after paddling the south coast of France.

"I don't think I'll give up sea kayaking but will be more fearful than ever of rhibs and jet skis and speed boats".

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  • rakesh01  |  September 29 2011, 8:34PM

    Four of them in the boat and they still hit a kayak! Was the kayak moving too fast for you? You couldn't make it up. Charge them with reckless endangerment, get them out of the water & consign them to playing in nothing bigger than the local duck pond. We don't need these idiots out there on the water. Get well soon Nigel - best wishes from a fellow kayaker.

  • oddman  |  September 29 2011, 7:23PM

    ....and as a fellow kayaker, Nigel get well soon

  • oddman  |  September 29 2011, 7:22PM

    BIFTER! Just for your piece of mind its Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boat (RHIB)

  • mikelister66  |  September 29 2011, 5:11PM

    Well, they got the 'h' in the article, just in the wrong place. On topic, this is an unfortunate risk those of us in kayaks, rowing boats etc have to take. We are far less maneouverable than a rib and they should give way. Let's hope Mr Hatton makes a speedy recovery and we don't have another incident anytime soon.

  • Northbrook39  |  September 29 2011, 3:57PM

    Probably comes from the same town as "The Marine Accident Investigation Branc"

  • bifter2  |  September 29 2011, 12:12PM

    I wonder if a 'Rhib' is a Rigid Inflatable Boat ...... but made in Wales.