A LIFEBOAT crew came to the aid of a canoeist who had capsized three times in choppy conditions at Hilbre Island.

The volunteer crew at West Kirby RNLI were tasked by HM Coastguard at 11.40am this morning, Saturday, to help the canoeist who was struggling in the challenging conditions at the north end of Hilbre Island.

The crew had received a call from a member of the volunteer group ‘Friends of Hilbre Island’, which had been monitoring the canoeist, who had capsized three times and appeared to be in difficulty.

West Kirby RNLI lifeboat ‘Seahorse’ launched to carry out a welfare check on the canoeist who, by the time the crew had reached him, had been able to independently reach the island.

The casualty was fully-equipped with a VHF radio and wearing appropriate clothing including buoyancy aid.

The RNLI said he was thankful for the support provided by the volunteer crew and accepted a tow to West Kirby Moorings due to the ebbing tide upon where he was able to safely paddle to shore.

Richard Diamond, West Kirby RNLI Lifeboat operations manager, said: "The casualty was fully-equipped and understood the correct procedure to follow in this situation plus had been able to self-rescue.

"We thank the member of Friends of Hilbre for contacting the Coastguard as we always encourage people to phone 999 should they suspect that someone is in difficulty."