Lymington RNLI joins multi-agency search for a kite surfer
Lymington RNLI voluntary crew were tasked by HM Coastguard to reports of a kite surfer in difficulty off Tanners Lane at 3.51pm on Sunday 8 March.
The Lymington RNLI lifeboat was launched alongside the independent Hamble lifeboat and headed towards the location and started a shoreline search to the east along the north shore. Lymington lifeboat launched in cloudy conditions with good visibility and a force 4 westerly wind direction.
Given the weather conditions, the lifeboat started to use one of their search rescue techniques, to try and understand where the kite surfer might have been. After completing one leg they were notified of reports of a kite flying off Egypt Point, the northernmost point on the Isle of Wight, east of Cowes and RNLI helm Kevin Coster proceeded to area. A kite was recovered from the water just outside of the Cowes harbour, but no kite surfer was found.
The lifeboat continued to search the area but at 6.53pm the helm returned to the station for a crew change and refuel of the lifeboat. Cowes RNLI lifeboat and the coastguard rescue helicopter joined the search as light was fading.
The lifeboat relaunched at 7.45pm with a new crew and commenced a shoreline search westwards towards Oxley Lake. After an appeal by HM Coastguard on social media, it was established the kite surfer was safe and well and the search was called off. The lifeboat returned to station and was ready for service again at 9.20pm
Lymington helm Kevin Coster said: 'It can be a traumatic situation if you get into difficulties but it is important to let the Coastguard know that you are safe and well if you lose any equipment at sea'. One idea suggested by the crew is that people could put a name and contact details on equipment to help identify the owners if it is found.
Al Mackay the DLA (Deputy Launching Authority) who has recently joined the RNLI team said it was: 'a pro-active team effort by all crew and volunteers on what was one of their longest searches in a while'.
Suzanne Brown, Lifeboat Press Officer, Lymington Lifeboat Station (07711) 393910 email@example.com
Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer, SE and London (07785) 296252 firstname.lastname@example.org
For enquiries outside business hours contact the RNLI duty press officer on (01202) 336789.
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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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.