Exhausted windsurfer plucked to safety by Fleetwood RNLI
With winds gusting at nearly 50 mph and with one of the highest tides of the year running at a strong six knots, a call out to a windsurfer near Glasson Dock was unexpected by the volunteers from Fleetwood RNLI.
Both the inshore lifeboat D-853 Harbet and the all-weather Shannon class lifeboat 13-14 Kenneth James Pierpoint, were launched, as the wind surfer’s reported position was expected to change dramatically given the conditions on the day.
The casualty was discovered clinging onto his surf board, several miles from the reported position, very cold, exhausted and relieved to see the inshore lifeboat heading towards him.
The man, a visitor to the area from Darwen in Lancashire, had been in the water for nearly an hour and was picked up by the inshore lifeboat, along with his equipment, before being transferred to the Shannon Class RNLI lifeboat for a more comfortable, warmer transfer to Fleetwood.
He received casualty care aboard the lifeboat before taking a hot shower and was given dry clothes at the lifeboat station. He was later collected by his friend and didn’t require hospital treatment.
Tony Cowell, Coxswain for Fleetwood RNLI said:
‘This was a very successful outcome and a life saved. The casualty was exhausted by the time we got to him and nowhere near the reported original position. We found him as quickly as we did, thanks to our colleagues at Holyhead Coastguard and our training to track the tidal flows and currents. He was a lucky man.’
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.