Two wing surfers assisted by Poole RNLI in blustery conditions
While out on essential training (13 March), the volunteer crew spotted a couple of wing surfers enjoying the conditions. Wing surfing is the sport of riding a foil board or a standard SUP, (stand up paddle board) whilst carrying a hand-held inflatable sail/ kite.
As the volunteers headed up the North Channel in the harbour, they spotted a couple of Wing surfers out and about, enjoying the conditions. Wing surfing is the sport of riding a foil board or a standard SUP, (Stand up paddle board) whilst carrying a hand-held inflatable sail/ kite.
Conditions were quite blustery with a strong westerly wind that was buffeting the crew on the lifeboat and causing a bit of chop on the water.
As the crew went about their drills, they spotted that one of the wing surfers had got into some difficulty and he had become detached from his 'Wing' which was last seen heading towards Salterns Marina.
The crew went across to check he was okay as he would not have been able to get back to shore, the conditions had not let up. The lifeboat crew responded, to see if he was okay and they recovered him taking him and his board, back to shore.
Shortly after, there was another wing surfer, struggling, as his 'wing' had deflated, the lifeboat crew retrieved his equipment and brought him back safely ashore too.
The lifeboat volunteers also manage to salvage the first wing surfers sail from Salterns.
The lifeboat crew carried on with their exercise and eventually returned to station by 11am, after refuelling and a thorough sanitisation/wash down the lifeboat was ready for service by 11.30am.
Volunteer Helm Ed Davies said:
‘We were in the right place at the right time this morning, conditions were challenging, and we were keeping an eye on the Wing Surfers, so it was fortunate for them, that we were out there, in the vicinity and could respond so swiftly.’
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.