Lifeguard kayakers 50-mile challenge hailed

The Lowestoft Volunteer Lifeguards Corps headquarters after 10 kayakers from the Corps completed a t

The Lowestoft Volunteer Lifeguards Corps headquarters after 10 kayakers from the Corps completed a tough sea challenge as they paddled 50 miles from Felixstowe to Lowestoft in difficult conditions. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Archant

It has been another busy and successful year for the Lowestoft Volunteer Lifeguards Corps.

The life saving group was first registered in 1953, having been formed the previous year by members of the Lowestoft Swimming Club and Eastern Coach Works Swimming Club. These were sea bathing clubs who had their 'chalets' on the Esplanade at Lowestoft.

In 2013, the Corps gained permission from the then Waveney District Council to convert an old shelter that is situated on the Lower Promenade for it to become their current headquarters. Last year, as well as continuing to assist in providing training courses and facilities for the RNLI beach lifeguard service, they provided voluntary lifeguard duties supporting local events and safeguarding users of Lowestoft's South Beach. The Corps also allowed their headquarters to be used as the base for the First Light Festival, where members also provided beach safety throughout.

Fundraising for both the Corps and for other charities also featured in the club's activities and included 10 kayakers from the Corps, who set off from Felixstowe on a sea challenge to paddle to Lowestoft that was to take them three days. The 50-mile kayak along the Suffolk coast saw them battle particularly difficult conditions as they completed the challenge. A back up team of members of the Orient Lodge of Freemasons followed the paddlers from the shoreline.

The team of 10 used four kayak rescue craft donated in memory of former members Ian Paterson, Reg Belton, Kevin McGuire and Len Waters.

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Speaking after the kayakers arrived back at Lowestoft, Mr Paterson's widow Jan Paterson said: "I am co-chair of the Lowestoft Committee of Action Medical Research for Children and our initial aim was to raise £1500 for the charity from the kayak challenge, but we hope to exceed this amount. I really must praise Ian Moir and the lifeguard kayakers for a really wonderful achievement against all odds. This was one of the hardest challenges they have ever done."

Lyndsay Wood, fundraising manager (east) for Action Medical Research, said: "We are really grateful to the volunteer lifeguards for completing this kayak challenge, which has also helped to raise a significant sum for our charity."

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