FATHER and son kayakers Simon and Josh White have raised £2,000 for Minehead’s RNLI lifeboat station by paddling their way along the Exmoor coastline.

But the pair discovered the Bristol Channel weather can cut up rough at any time, even in the height of summer.

Minehead-based vet Simon and 18-year-old Josh took two days to cover the 28 miles from Combe Martin to Minehead harbour, spending a total of nine hours at sea.

But it was a far more challenging trip than they had anticipated.

After passing Lynmouth on Saturday, the pair put in to a small, rocky beach near Glenthorne to camp for the night.

But said Simon: “It wasn’t so much a case of the wrong trousers as the wrong tent.

"We had only taken a small beach tent with us and there was a terrific downpour all night.

"Everything we had – all our clothes and equipment - was drenched.”

To complicate things further, the pair woke on Sunday morning to find the weather had closed down with a strong north-easterly wind, threatening to delay their progress.

“It wasn’t the sort of weather to be on the water at all but in the end the sun came out and the wind eased a bit and we decided to go for it,” said Simon.

“We had planned to paddle with the incoming tide on both days but even with that helping we had a pretty tough two and a half hours paddling into the wind until we got past Hurlestone Point.

"We were pretty glad to make it into Minehead harbour at the end of it all.”

Chris Rundle, of Minehead RNLI, said the station was immensely grateful for the money the pair had raised from sponsors.

“This has been a very difficult year indeed for RNLI fund-raising and we currently need to tap into every available source to keep the service up and running,” he said.

“But what happened to Simon and Josh on the way illustrates precisely why there is a need for a lifeboat station here.

"This is an extremely inhospitable bit of coastline with limited refuges and an area where the weather can suddenly turn from fair to foul.

“We have been called out numerous times for kayakers who have failed to take account of the tide or the weather forecast – sometimes even instructors have been forced to call for help.

“But Simon and Josh did all the right things in terms of making use of the tides, carrying the right equipment and keeping themselves safe at all times – even if they did get a bit wet - and they deserve extra congratulations for that.”