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Three shouts in one afternoon for Mudeford RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

On 20 August, following a busy morning training with HM Coastguard, the volunteer Mudeford RNLI crew were tasked to assist in three separate incidents that afternoon.

A helicopter hovers in the air over a lifeboat out at sea with sailing vessels in the background

RNLI/Lawrence Toogood

The Mudeford Servant lifeboat with HM Coastguard helicopter in Christchurch Harbour

At 4.25pm, the Mudeford RNLI Atlantic 85 lifeboat responded to a distress call from a sailing yacht which was towing a windsurfer. Realising the windsurfer had suffered a damaged mast and was in difficulty, the yacht crew offered a tow line. However, due to the current and weather conditions, the tow became wrapped around the yacht’s propellor.

The lifeboat arrived on scene at 4.30pm. After establishing all casualties were safe and well, the volunteer RNLI crew requested the yacht to cut the line. Once the engine was tested to ensure the line was clear of the propellor, the yacht continued on its way. The lifeboat crew then recovered the casualty and his board onto the lifeboat and took him back to the beach on Mudeford Spit.

RNLI volunteer Helm, Liam Sexton said, ‘The yacht crew did a great job coming to the assistance of the windsurfer. Thanks to their timely actions we were able to avoid the fouled tow line causing more serious problems and recover the windsurfer safely.’

The RNLI lifeboat left the scene at 5.45pm. On the way back to the lifeboat, the RNLI boat crew passed a jet skier who was injured and unable to move. He had managed to reach a groyne near the lifeboat station slipway but was in a lot of pain.

Concerned the casualty may have sustained a spinal injury, the RNLI volunteers kept him still and comfortable until paramedics arrived on scene. Pain relief treatment was administered and the paramedics and lifeboat station crew carefully stretchered the casualty to an ambulance for further assessment and transfer to Poole Hospital.

RNLI Designated Launch Authority, Tim Hewett, explained, “Our crew members often have to treat and care for casualties on scene. The Mudeford Lifeboat Station crew followed their training, protecting and stabilising the casualty until he could be handed into the care of our emergency services colleagues.”

At 6.57pm the Mudeford RNLI crew were then tasked to assist a swimmer in difficulty between Bournemouth and Boscombe piers approximately 200 metres from shore. The Mudeford Servant lifeboat arrived on scene at 7.10pm and conducted a search of the area. Shortly after, the casualty was located on shore by Southbourne Coastguard Rescue Team. The casualty was not in need of medical attention and the lifeboat crew were stood down at 7.17pm.

RNLI volunteer Helm, Andy Read, commented, ‘Swimming far out at sea is hazardous as swimmers are difficult for boats and other traffic to spot in the water. Strong tides, currents and the chilly water can all leave swimmers at risk of fatigue and unable to get back to shore.’

For more information about staying safe in the water visit

The Mudeford RNLI Lifeboat has launched 61 times so far this year.

RNLI Media contacts

· Robert King, Mudeford volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, 07810 637471 [email protected]

· Beth Robson, Regional Media Officer (South East), 07977728294

· For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.