Lifeboat joins in windsurfer rescue bid

Lifeboats News Release

Thanks to the keen hearing of a man cutting his hedge, Cowes RNLI lifeboat went into life-saving mode this evening.

Cowes lifeboat races through the choppy sea to the capsized windsurfer.

RNLI/George Chastney

Lifeboat races to the aid of a capsized windsurfer.

As Gurnard resident Simon Morgan was tackling his hedge he heard desperate cries for help coming from the sea. Discovering that a windsurfer had capsized and was being swept westwards by a strong wind and tide, he tried without success to reach him through the choppy sea in his kayak.

It was then that Cowes lifeboat’s operations manager, Mark Southwell, was told just before 5.30 pm of the situation – and immediately ordered the launching of the lifeboat. Simon also alerted the crew of a safety boat at Gurnard Sailing Club to the emergency.

But before help could arrive from either boat, the windsurfer had somehow regained his craft and was safely making his way back to Gurnard beach.

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, in a normal year, 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.

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 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.