Craster lifeboat tasked to a nine-year-old drifting out to sea

Lifeboats News Release

On August 7 at 1:09pm, Craster volunteer RNLI crew were paged to launch by HM Coastguard to locate and assist two adults and a nine-year-old who had been blown out to sea.

Stock image of Craster lifeboat

RNLI/Andrew Cowan

Craster lifebot

Craster lifeboat had just returned from the regular Sunday morning training session, when during the crew debrief, the RNLI volunteers were paged.

With a gusting Force 5 offshore wind, Craster lifeboat was launched and made best speed north to Embleton Bay.

The tasking information given was two adults and a nine-year-old child being blown out to sea. They were in a nine-foot dingy with a red sail alongside a yellow kayak.

Howick Coastguard Rescue Team (CRT) were also tasked to Embleton Bay to help locate and keep eyes on the casualties.

The dingy and kayak were quickly located being blown off shore. The crew established that all three casualties, all from the same family, were safe and well and needed no medical attention. However, the family were in life threatening danger from being blown further out to sea in the off shore wind.

An alongside tow was established and the lifeboat headed north into Newton Haven to rendezvous with Howick CRT.

The grandfather, his daughter and granddaughter had been enjoying a regular day out at Newton by the sea, with the grandfather taking his granddaughter on her first sailing trip

The main sail halyard on the dingy had snapped, only the foresail was able to power the dingy, and was in possible to sail upwind back to safety.

When the mother saw her father and daughter in difficulty, she googled the telephone number of the RNLI. If you find yourself in a similar situation, dial 999 and ask for HM Coastguard.

She then entered the water in her kayak and tried to help her farther and daughter.

The mother transferred the daughter to her kayak to keep her calm; they both had lifejackets on, but were being blown further from safety. The grandfather, an experienced regular sailor from Newton, had lost a paddle trying to get back to shore.

Once back ashore, the Coastguard gave essential safety advice.

Craster lifeboat D839, James Ballard, returned to Craster lifeboat station and was refuelled and prepared for service.

If you find yourself in trouble in the water, dial 999 and ask for HM Coastguard.

The RNLI advise beachgoers to always wear a lifejacket of personal flotation device in the water.

RNLI Media contacts

For more information please contact RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Andy Cowan: [email protected]

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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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