Kite surfers assisted by Rhyl RNLI on downwind challenge.
25 Kite surfers had set off from Pensarn on a charity downwind challenge to the windfarms and back.Rhyl All-weather lifeboat had just launched on exercise.
Just after the boat had launched at 3.45pm, the Launching Authority at the boathouse noticed one kite surfer struggling to regain control and settling in the water, about two miles west of the station. The UK coastguard at Holyhead were informed, and the all-weather lifeboat was diverted to the scene. The man had become detached from his board and was drifting in the water when the lifeboat came alongside. He was taken on board the lifeboat together with all his lines and kite. Just as this was completing, the crew spotted a kite surfer going in the wrong direction towards Llandudno, and asked Holyhead coastguard to alert the local coastguard teams to monitor his progress.
Some ten minutes after picking up the first kite surfer, another two were spotted back towards Rhyl, both lying in the water. The lifeboat crew immediately went to them, and both them and their kites were taken on board the lifeboat. It was then thought prudent for the lifeboat to stay at sea as long as the casualties aboard were well and safe, until all kites had reached landfall at Rhyl.
The kite surfer going towards Llandudno was eventually spotted by Rhyl coastguard volunteers, as he made landfall at Towyn, and he was monitored as he walked back on the beach towards Rhyl.
Eventually all kite surfers were accounted for and the lifeboat returned to station at 5.55pm, no medical assistance being required.
The associated picture shows the three kites on board the lifeboat after returning to station.
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.