Laser pen hampers lifeboat rescue search in Herne Bay
A search for a missing kayaker was hampered by a laser pen shone at the lifeboat crew from the shore, the RNLI has said.
The lifeboat was almost a mile offshore between Swalecliffe and Hampton, Kent, at 20:30 BST on Saturday when it was "targeted by a blinding green light".
In spite of this, it found the missing 26-year-old man half a mile from Herne Bay pier, paddling towards the shore.
Lifeboat helmsman Dave Parry said the search effectiveness was "hampered".
Whitstable Lifeboat operations manager Mike Judge said: "The lifeboat and crew had been tasked to search for the kayaker in the dark up to two miles offshore.
"To shine a laser light into anyone's eyes is a dangerous thing, but to shine such a light onto a crew at sea in the dark is not only dangerous for the crew but also to the person for whom they are searching.
"This act was totally irresponsible," he said.