On Wednesday 26 August 2020 Humber Coastguard received multiple 999 calls reporting a person in the water off Embleton Beach.
Craster Lifeboat crew were paged to launch at 2.45pm and made best speed to the scene in a moderate rolling sea.
On arrival at the scene the Lifeboat crew could see members of the public on the shore waving.
The lifeboat turned to shore aware of the increasing surf to search towards the shore line. With the intention of searching head to sea, the volunteer lifeboat crew then spotted a surf board half a mile off shore with no persons in the immediate area.
The lifeboat then continued searching, locating the casualty 500 metres to the north east, distressed and attempting to stay afloat on his back.
With the rolling sea and surf behind the lifeboat, RNLI Crew member Andy Cowan entered the water, grabbing the fatigued casualty and ensuring his head was above the water, as the casualty was not wearing a lifejacket and was relying on the little buoyancy provided by his wet suit. This was the first time in 50 years a crew member from Craster had entered the water to rescue a casualty.
The lifeboat then turned head to sea before recovering casualty and crewman from the sea. The casualty was cold, tired and exhausted but alert, stating that he had been swept out to sea and was unable to get back to the shore. He had decided to abandon his surf board and try to swim back to the shore, swimming for a further 45 minutes, totalling 90 minutes in the water, before deciding to employ the 'Float to Live' technique, floating on his back as he was exhausted.
The surfboard was recovered and the lifeboat then took the casualty to Newton Haven as the heavy surf made Embleton Beach unsafe for a recovery. On arrival at Newton the casualty was handed over to Howick Coastguard Rescue Team's paramedic for further assessment. The boat was then refuelled and Covid 19 guidance was followed and made ready for service.
The crew would like to express their thanks to the people who rang 999 when they saw the person in trouble. Remember, in an emergency at sea or on the coast, or if you think someone may be in difficulty, ALWAYS call the COASTGUARD by dialling 999 or 112 on a mobile. Further information on the Float technique can be found at:
For information contact:
Volunteer Lifeboat Press officer
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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.
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