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Eastbourne RNLI rescue windsurfer in choppy seas

Lifeboats News Release

Eastbourne RNLI rescued a windsurfer in difficulty in choppy seas on Saturday (29 January) after he had suffered equipment failure.

Lifeboat crew in full waterproof kit surrounding the Inshore lifeboat knee deep in the sea

RNLI/Carl Pocock

Eastbourne Crew recovering ILB

They were requested to launch the inshore lifeboat at midday and tasked to search for a windsurfer reported to be in difficulty half a mile offshore from the Inshore Lifeboat station. It was reported that the casualty had been in trouble for at least 45 minutes and was now not visible from shore in the choppy sea conditions.

After launching the inshore lifeboat the crew started to search from the last known position of the casualty. They were supported by more volunteer crew on shore that were scanning the area with binoculars.

The inshore lifeboat had just started its second leg of the search when the casualty was spotted from the shore through binoculars by volunteer crew member Tom Mele. The inshore lifeboat was then able to be directed straight to the casualty.

When the lifeboat arrived on scene it was discovered the casualty had suffered equipment failure resulting in the casualty needing our assistance.

The casualty was recovered safely ashore by the lifeboat and checked out by our paramedic crew member Guy Emery.

The casualty was cold but otherwise well and very grateful for our assistance.

This was a very experienced windsurfer with all the right equipment and did the right thing by staying with his board which assisted a successful recovery.

‘This was a great team effort by everyone involved, from the first informant who was able to give us a search area to our crew in the boat and on shore who worked together to locate the casualty and recover them to the shore.’ Coxswain Mark Sawyer said afterwards.

Media Contacts:

Daniel Baldock, Lifeboat Press Officer, Eastbourne Lifeboat Station (07895) 369688 [email protected]

Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer London and South East (07785) 296252

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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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