RNLI Lifeguards at Camber Sands learn how to carry out kitesurfing rescues

Lifeguards News Release

RNLI volunteer lifeguards joined forces with the Kitesurf Centre at Camber Sands recently to share best practice in the best ways to handle a kitesurf rescue.

RNLI Lifeguards and Kitesurf Centre staff stand on the beach for a briefing session

RNLI/Martin Bruce

The briefing session before training starts

Kitesurfing is an increasingly popular watersport and the Kitesurf Centre, established eleven years ago, is a popular destination for those, both local and from much further afield, who appreciate the ideal conditions at Camber: a large shallow, shelving beach and plenty of wind.

Rescuing a kitesurfer in difficulties requires a careful approach given the long lengths of carbon-fibre line involved, which can foul propellers and entangle limbs, and the forces the wind can bring to bear on the large sail.

Tristan Cawte at the Kitesurf Centre explained: ‘Anything we can do to improve the safety and security of surfers in the water, especially those without local knowledge, we will, especially working with the lifeguards on the beach.’

RNLI Lifeguards have been an established presence at Camber Sands for a year now and during the summer as many as eight lifeguards can be on duty to go to the aid of anyone needing assistance. Using fast rescue water craft they can reach casualties very quickly and they are keen to have prepared for as many possible scenarios as possible.

‘What we want to achieve,’ explained RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor Dominic Richard, ‘is to develop a better understanding of kitesurfing rescues by training with the local experts as part of our mission to help save lives at sea.’

Last August RNLI lifeguards based at Camber Sands faced a race against time after a kite-surfer was seriously injured when one of his lines snapped and his kite spiralled out of control slamming him into the ground several times.

The impact was so severe the man was unable to move and was trapped just feet from the water's edge with the tide coming in fast.

For more details on this story see the following link on the RNLI News Centre: https://rnli.org/news-and-media/2017/august/06/camber-lifeguards-race-to-the-rescue-of-injured-kite-surfer

Ends

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· Martin Bruce, Rye Harbour RNLI volunteer Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer (07789) 818878 martinthebruce@gmail.com

· Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (South East), 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk

· For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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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 237 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 180 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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RNLI Lifeguards on two jet skis prepare for the training exercise

RNLI/Martin Bruce

RNLI Lifeguards on their jetskis prepare to go to the aid of a kitesurfer 'casualty'
RNLI Lifeguards on a jetski approach the kitesurfer playing the part of a casualty who is in the water still attached to the kite

RNLI/Martin Bruce

RNLI Lifeguards approach the kitesurfer 'casualty' with care

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.

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