RNLI Newhaven’s Severn class lifeboat 'David and Elizabeth Acland' and her volunteer crew were tasked at 4.38pm on Saturday 24 April to a paddle boarder in Seaford Bay.
The paddle boarder’s mother raised the alarm from Seaford Beach, where the casualty had set off. Despite good visibility and slight chop close to shore, the sea state was moderate further out, with a strong easterly breeze of force 5 to 6.
Once on scene, the Lifeboat made way initially to a windsurfer who appeared to be in difficulty. However, the windsurfer confirmed that she was okay. The windsurfer explained that she was a friend of the paddle boarder.
Nick Gentry, Navigator/Crew, says, ‘The windsurfer had gone out to check on her friend, realising he might be in difficulty making way back to the beach. The windsurfer assured us that she was happy to continue surfing.’
The Lifeboat and her crew made way to the paddle boarder. The casualty was on his board and well. However, under the conditions of wind and tide, he was unable to make headway to shore.
The crew brought the casualty and his paddle board onto the Lifeboat. The Lifeboat made way back to Seaford beach.
Approximately one cable from the shore, in the lee of the land, the crew assisted the paddle boarder back into the water.
The paddle boarder made way easily back to shore, where he was reunited with his mother.
Nick Gentry, Navigator/Crew, says, ‘Keeping an eye on a friend or family member who is involved in any water activity, can help save a life. The casualty’s mother did the right thing.’
‘If you spot anyone in difficulty in the sea, call 999 immediately and ask for the coastguard.’
Notes to editors
• SUP – Stand-Up Paddle board
• Cable – A cable length or length of cable is a nautical unit of measure equal to one tenth of a nautical mile or approximately 100 fathoms. Due to anachronisms and varying techniques of measurement, a cable length can be anywhere from 169 to 220 meters, depending on the standard used.
• Established in 1803, Newhaven Lifeboat Station covers from Beachy Head to Brighton. It’s a modern afloat station and operates an all-weather Severn class lifeboat. The crews have been awarded 19 medals for gallantry.
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