Brighton RNLI launch to reports of two kite surfers in difficulty
Brighton RNLI launched its inshore lifeboat on Wednesday morning (27 October) to conduct a sea search.
A concerned member of the public reported seeing two kite surfers who appeared to be in difficulty in the sea off Hove.
The volunteer crew was requested to launch their inshore lifeboat Random Harvest by the Coastguard just after 9.02am.
The crew initiated a search between Hove Lagoon and Rockwater.
The callout was later updated when the kite surfing kit was found washed up on the beach but without sign of the kite surfers themselves.
The crew performed a two-leg parallel search of the area but found nothing. Whilst this was occurring, a mobile coastguard unit made contact with an individual ashore who matched the initial description.
At that point, Solent coastguard authorised the lifeboat to stand down upon completion of the search leg they were on and return to the station at 9.48am. The call is classified as a false alarm with good intent.
Weather conditions at the time were good with a light south-westerly breeze, calm sea conditions and good visibility.
Speaking after the call out, Roger Cohen, lifeboat operations manager of Brighton, said: “Even though the call turned out to be a false alarm, we would like to commend the member of the public who did the right thing by calling 999 to report what they saw.
“They thought someone had gotten into trouble and had good intent calling the authorities. We would rather launch to investigate what was seen and put everyone’s mind at ease. This call also highlights the importance for watersports equipment to identify the name and contact details of the owner.”
The Coastguard recommend that you clearly mark your equipment and other items you bring to the coast with your name and contact details so that if it is lost, stolen or abandoned, they can contact you to make sure that you are safe.
They add: “This really helps us to save a lot of time, and could provide us with extra information we need to help you if we believe you’re in difficulty at sea.”
Specific labels can be ordered free from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency website.
At the very least, some users simply write their mobile number on their equipment with a permanent marker.
Brighton Lifeboat was ready for service again 10.10am.
If you do see anyone in trouble, always dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.
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.
Learn more about the RNLI
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