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