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Longsands RNLI lifeguards assist kite surfer whilst on training

Lifeguards News Release

Last Tuesday (5 June) Longsands RNLI lifeguards were out training when the team noticed a kite surfer struggling in difficult sea conditions.

The lifeguards were training new team members on rescue paddle boards when concerns grew over a male surfer who was struggling to relaunch his kite.

The kite surfer had got into difficulty 200m out to sea when his 12m2 kite went down into the water and flooded. Strong inshore winds and 2m swells were also making it difficult for him to relaunch the kite that he was tethered to.

Longsands RNLI lifeguards were 50m away from the kite surfer, training for their lifesaving roles over the busy summer period, and so were able to get to him quickly and assist before the situation worsened.

Whilst tackling the tough sea conditions, the charity’s lifeguards were able to reach the male kite surfer and get him onto the rescue board to bring him safely back to the shore, an exercise the team had practised that same morning.

RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, Sandy Kerr said: ‘These were very fortunate circumstances as our RNLI lifeguards were already out on their rescue boards training new team members, and they had performed an exercise that morning to prepare for this particular type of situation.

‘All of our lifeguards go through an extensive period of training so that they are prepared for any type of situation and the RNLI can continue preventing lives lost at sea throughout the busy summer months. We advise everybody heading to the beach to stay safe, respect the water, and choose a beach supervised by our RNLI lifeguards.

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For more information, please contact Megan McBride, RNLI Regional Media Engagement North East and East, on 0191 5269158 or

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 238 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 240 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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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland