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Fleetwood RNLI rescue wind surfer

Lifeboats News Release

Both RNLI Fleetwood’s inshore (ILB) and all-weather lifeboats (ALB) were called into action today (16 November) when a wind surfer was reported to be in difficulty off Sunderland Point, near Heysham.

Fleetwood ILB Mary Elizabeth Barnes cresting a wave opposite Knott End ferry

With permission from local supporter

Fleetwood ILB Mary Elizabeth Barnes

UK Coastguard called RNLI Fleetwood at 2.40pm and both lifeboats were immediately launched, along with the Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter based at Caernarfon to help with the search. The wind surfer was eventually spotted by the SAR helicopter and directed the ILB to pick up the casualty.

The wind surfer was cold and wet, but otherwise in good spirits, considering the danger he was in and was safely handed over to Knott End Coastguard Rescue Team.

Coxswain Gary Randles said: ‘It was lucky he was picked up quickly. The conditions were challenging and especially tough for the volunteer inshore lifeboat crew. It made the search quite difficult. The wind surfer was extremely cold when he was picked up, but declined medical assistance. We were grateful for the support from both the Coastguard and the Coastguard helicopter.'

RNLI Media contacts

For more information please contact Ken Harcombe, Volunteer RNLI Press Officer on: 07970 197195.

The red & white Coastguard helicopter in action close up.

With permission off local supporter

Coastguard helicopter

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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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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