Kilkeel RNLI rescues windsurfer that gets into difficulty off Cranfield Point
Kilkeel RNLI rescued a windsurfer who got into difficulty off Cranfield Point on Saturday.
The volunteer crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 3.25pm on Saturday (14 November) following a request by Belfast Coastguard to go to the aid of a windsurfer in trouble off Cranfield Point.
Kilkeel Coastguard, Greenore Coast Guard and the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 from Dublin were also requested. Onshore the Kilkeel Coastguard had spotted the sail of the windsurfer just north of Carlingford Lough shipping channel and directed lifeboat helm Gerry Smyth towards the casualty, who had been one of a group of eight.
The other seven members of the group had made it safely to shore. In wind force 5-6 and in a moderate sea, the casualty and his gear were taken onboard.
The exhausted casualty was checked by the lifeboat crew for injury, water inhalation and the effects of the cold conditions. He was then made comfortable and brought safely ashore. The lifeboat returned at 4.15pm where the grateful surfer was met by Kilkeel Coastguard.
Speaking following the call out, John Fisher, Kilkeel RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘The crew did everything in a thoroughly professional manner and we would like to wish the casualty well. Because of Covid-19, the crew have been restricted in their training exercises but this afternoon they demonstrated their skills with this rescue also highlighting how well multiple agencies work together.’
Meanwhile, at 2.15pm yesterday (15 November), the lifeboat crew was requested again and prepared to launch to a call that an EPIRB had been activated. However, after an extensive local onshore search it was found that the EPIRB was faulty and was located in a boat owner’s garage. Kilkeel Coastguard were also in attendance. No further action was required, and the lifeboat was returned to the boathouse.
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.