Both Whitby lifeboats were launched today (Tuesday 27th December) when the swimmer was reported missing.
The experienced sea swimmer who had set off from Sandsend near Whitby had not returned to shore at the expected time and reports suggested they had been at sea for over an hour.
RNLI volunteers quickly launched the inshore lifeboat and began a detailed search of the shore line.
The Coastguard also searched on foot from the shore and liaised closely with the RNLI to ensure a thorough search was conducted.
The all-weather lifeboat was also launched to assist the search with every second vital to the chances of finding the casualty.
Moments after heading further out to sea to broaden the search, Jonathan Marr who was helm on the inshore lifeboat spotted the swimmer waving his arm.
The inshore lifeboat crew quickly retrieved the swimmer from the water and transferred them to the all-weather lifeboat for more medical treatment. The lifeboat promptly returned to harbour whilst providing casualty care to the swimmer who suffering the effect of prolonged exposure to the cold and they were transferred to a waiting ambulance at the lifeboat station.
Jonathan Marr said: ‘We were so relieved to see the swimmer waving to us, at this time of year the water is extremely cold and the effects of the cold can take hold very quickly, we wish the swimmer a speedy recovery.
‘This incident highlights the importance of letting someone know if you are swimming in the sea and what time you expect to get out, this can be the difference between a life saved and a life lost as every minute counts when something goes wrong.’
‘Also please remember to wear something bright, a tow float is great as this is easy to spot even in the surf, don’t spend too long in the water in winter, and if you do get into difficulty remember float to live - don’t panic, float on your back and raise an arm or shout for help.’
For more information contact Lifeboat Press Officer Ceri Oakes on 07813359428 or at [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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