View as PDF

Man overboard saved by off-duty RNLI lifeguard using kite-surfing equipment

Lifeboats News Release

A man who had been thrown into the water from a small boat in strong winds was rescued by an off duty RNLI Boscombe lifeguard last week.

Casey Burges spotted the capsizing boat from the beach 600m away. Using his kite, Casey managed to transport the casualty to safety. The rescued man was competing in a sailing event in Christchurch when his boat capsized.
From Highcliffe Beach, Casey saw the small one-man sailing boat had capsized with no-one visible nearby. Thanks to his training and water sports knowledge, the qualified kite-surfing instructor knew whoever was on board would now be taken out to sea.
Casey says: “I was just really lucky to be there and able to help out. It was great to put the RNLI training into practice and make a difference to someone.”
Casey’s mum even helped out with the rescue. Casey recalls: “Mum was on the beach that day too so she looked after the man and gave him a lift back to the sailing club while I let everyone looking for him know that he was safe. She was really brilliant”.
Using his kite to travel over to the boat, Casey spent five minutes searching for the sailor. He found the man fully conscious but very tired. Immediately ditching his board in the water, Casey got the man to hold onto the back of his harness and, for ten minutes, used his kite to transport the two of them to the safety.
Mike Winter, Lifeguard Supervisor for Boscombe, says: “What Casey did was extremely brave and he did a brilliant job - and to save a life using just kite-surfing equipment is nothing short of spectacular!”
The RNLI are running a national campaign encouraging people to Respect The Water. For more information on how to stay safe by or in the sea, visit

For more information contact Dom Stephens on 01202 336789

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


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