On Monday 27th of September, Aberystwyth RNLI were launched into rough weather at 5.20pm to rescue two kitesurfers and one wind surfer who were seen to be in trouble and unable to get ashore, approximately half a mile off Llanrhystud beach.
The RNLI lifeboat ‘Spirit of Friendship’ with 4 crew on board quickly launched into a force 5 wind with choppy seas and made their way as fast and as safe as possible towards the casualties location South of Aberystwyth. 20 minutes after launching the lifeboat arrived on scene and began to search for the casualty, due to the conditions the crew also requested New Quay all weather lifeboat launch to provide cover. The Aberystwyth Coastguard unit were also on scene at Llanrhystud to pass information on the casualties location.
Once on scene it was reported the two Kite surfers had managed to swim ashore, but were very tired and drained from the swim. The wind surfer was quickly located by the volunteer lifeboat crew. The casualty had spotted that the kite surfers were in trouble and had gone to assist them, but once in the area the wind had died down and he was unable to get his board started again to make it back to shore.
When the lifeboat approached the casualty he was slowly swimming towards the shore, but was in a choppy area so it was quickly decided to take the casualty aboard the vessel in case he tired out or the weather picked up again before reaching the beach. With a large swell and surf on the beach it was unsafe for the lifeboat to land the casualty,so he was taken back to Aberystwyth arriving back at 6:45pm.
Helmsman Nick Thompson said
“The casualty was fit, well equipped and experienced and was just caught out by the wind dropping after he had gone to help someone else. We were glad he and the kite surfers were all OK. They did the right thing having people on the shoreline watching who realised that something was up and were able to call in the emergency services quickly”
Whilst Aberystwyth were returning to station, New Quay ALB were tasked with trying to locate the missing board and kite from one of the kite surfers. After carrying out an extensive search nothing was found and the ALB was stood down and recovered and rehoused by 8pm.
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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