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: Peter_Barker@rnli.org.uk
- Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 firstname.lastname@example.org
- James Oxley, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East)
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.
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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries
Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.