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Windsurfer rescued off Margate thanks to diligent members of the public

Lifeboats News Release

A local windsurfer owes his life to the diligence of members of the public who saw his plight and persevered with watching him until rescued by Margate’s RNLI inshore lifeboat

Coastguards were alerted yesterday evening (Wednesday 20 April) when people on shore became concerned about a windsurfer who appeared to be struggling in blustery weather conditions off Minnis Bay on the north Kent coast.
Margate’s RNLI inshore lifeboat was tasked and initially located a windsurfer with the same coloured sail, assumed to be the one concerned. He was in no difficulty, one of a number of windsurfers and kite boarders enjoying the brisk weather suited for their sport.
The first informants however were adamant that the original windsurfer was still visible sitting on his board some distance offshore and the lifeboat eventually found the windsurfer over a mile offshore who by now was particularly difficult to spot. He had become exhausted and realising he was in difficulties was attempting to reach an offshore sandbank.
Together with his gear he was taken aboard the lifeboat and landed none the worse for wear into the care of local coastguards.
Paul Hodson, Margate lifeboat operations manager said: “This gentleman owes his life to those ashore who spotted his predicament and persevered in ensuring the lifeboat was able to locate him and ensure his safe return to shore. We urge anyone who sees anything untoward at sea to dial 999 and ask for coastguard, it could mean the difference between life and death for someone finding themselves in difficulties.”
RNLI media contacts
  • Peter Barker, RNLI Margate Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer
    Tel: 07974 064304, email:
  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252
  • James Oxley, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East)
0207 6207425 / 07786 668825

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland