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