West Kirby RNLI saves windsurfer from treacherous conditions

Lifeboats News Release

West Kirby RNLI was tasked to launch following a phone call to HM Coastguard from a concerned member of the public at 11.45am today.

West Kirby RNLI lifeboat being launched by its Haggluud BV206

RNLI/Tom Clark

Launching in blustery conditions

The volunteer crew of West Kirby RNLI Lifeboat were able to quickly reach the casualty following the assistance from the individual who had called in the incident. They gave guidance to the crew regarding the location of the casualty enabling the crew to quickly reach him. The casualty said following the rescue: 'I was really happy to see the lifeboat as I was worn out with a sore leg and shoulders. Thank you.'

Initially, there had been reports of two windsurfers in difficulty due to sea and wind conditions. The call was made 30 minutes prior to today’s 9.5 m high tide, which, along with winds of 30 mph, plus made the conditions extremely precarious – and one of the highest tides of the year. The other windsurfer returned to shore unaided and the second windsurfer transferred into the care of the awaiting local HM Coastguard team.

There was over 70 years’ worth of experience onboard West Kirby RNLI’s inshore lifeboat ‘Seahorse’ today. It comprised of Jamie Marston on the helm, and Chris Gatenby and Matt Geddes as the crew.

Ed Rowland, West Kirby RNLI Deputy Launch Authority said: 'We would like to thank the member of the pupil for phoning 999 and informing the Coastguard of the situation. Even the most well-prepared and experienced individuals can get into trouble. The sea can be hugely unpredictable and with the high wind conditions even more so.'

RNLI/Tom Clark

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.

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