A kayaker left clinging to rocks near the renowned Devil’s Frying Pan in Cornwall and swimmers reported to be swept out to sea were among the calls making it a busy week for local lifeboats.

On Thursday the crew of The Lizard Lifeboat had an early start when their pagers sounded at 8.45am about two kayakers in difficultly.

They had got into trouble near The Devil’s Frying Pan (an arched rock from a sea cave with a collaposed roof, so called because in rough weather the sea appears to be 'boiling' within it and the central rock resembles an egg frying in a pan) not far from the lifeboat station at Kilcobben Cove.

Under the command of second coxswain Darren Thirlaway, the lifeboat launched just 12 minutes later, at 8.57am, arriving at the scene in four minutes.

One of the kayakers was in the water, clinging to rocks inside a cave, while being battered by the sea swell.

Falmouth Packet: The lifeboat stands by while the Y-boat is deployedThe lifeboat stands by while the Y-boat is deployed (Image: Lizard RNLI)

A Lizard Lifeboat spokesperson said: “Upon the lifeboat’s arrival one of the two kayakers was able to inform the crew that her companion had fallen from his craft and was being taken in to the nearby Dollar Ogo cave.

“The casualty was seen to be holding on to rocks inside the cave with a strong sea swell knocking him around quite ferociously.”

The smaller Y-boat was quickly deployed from RNLB Rose, with two crew members on board, and an attempt was made to enter the cave to retrieve the stricken kayaker.

However, the cave proved to be inaccessible for the Y-boat and it wasn’t able to get close enough to the man in the water. The decision was made for a crew member to enter the water and swim to the kayaker, who was then helped into the waiting Y-boat and then on to RNLB Rose, where medical assistance was given.

After escorting the kayaker still on the water back to nearby Cadgwith Cove, RNLB Rose returned to the station at 10.10am.

Falmouth Packet: Efforts to reach the kayakerEfforts to reach the kayaker (Image: Lizard RNLI)

A South West Ambulance crew arrived shortly afterwards and the man who had been in the sea was handed over to their care.

Unfortunately, the man’s kayak could not be recovered as it had been pushed by the tide deep inside the cave, which was not accessible.

“HM Coastguard have been informed with a description and the location of the kayak in case it re-emerges and generates further calls,” added the lifeboat spokesperson.

Also called out for the shout were coastguard teams and the fishing boat “Kingfisher II”, who had been at sea during the rescue and stood by in case help was needed.

“An excellent response from all at The Lizard RNLI Lifeboat Station; thank you to all who attended,” said the Lizard Lifeboat spokesperson.

It was also a busy day earlier in the week for Penlee Lifeboat at Newlyn, which ended up being called out for real while on an assessment.

The all-weather Severn Class Lifeboat Volunteer Spirit, Penlee’s temporary relief lifeboat, had been out under coxswain Patch Harvey and a crew of volunteers on a training exercise with an RNLI assessor.

Having first launched at 10.15am on Tuesday, the crew were midway through the assessment when a call came in from Falmouth Coastguard about three swimmers reported to have been swept out to sea at Prussia Cove.

The lifeboat travelled there at at full speed, reaching Prussia Cove in just ten minutes.

The three swimmers were found on the shingle beach, where they informed the crew that they had got into difficulties but had managed to get back to shore and were safe and well.

After relaying this information to Falmouth Coastguard, the lifeboat continued with its exercise, returning to Newlyn at 12.30pm.

The lifeboat was then back out again 1.30pm for another mechanical assessment exercise, lasting two hours.