Aberdeen lifeboats in multi-agency search for kite-surfer
Both the RNLI Aberdeen Lifeboat Station’s lifeboats launched at 4.45pm today, Saturday 19 October 2019, responding to a request from UK Coastguard to conduct search operations off Aberdeen Beach.
A member of the public had phoned the Coastguard on 999 with concerns for the safety of a kite-surfer.
In rough seas, and very close to shore, the station’s D-class lifeboat ‘Buoy Woody 85N’ and Severn class all weather lifeboat ‘Bon Accord’ conducted search operations along the surf line looking for signs of the kite surfer or their equipment. They were joined by Rescue Helicopter Bond 1, Aberdeen Coastguard Rescue Team and Police Scotland.
Grant Bruce, volunteer helm of the inshore lifeboat, said: “Conditions on today’s service were very challenging. There was a stiff breeze across a 2-3 metre swell, further confused by backwash from the sea-wall and strong under-tows. Trying to search for a person in the water in such conditions is unquestionably difficult.”
At around 6.45, following reports that the kite-surfer’s sail had been recovered and that the owner had been seen to come ashore safely, UK Coastguard stood down the search operation. The lifeboats returned to station and were made ready for further service by around 7.00pm
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.