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Missing paddleboarders spark large scale search

Lifeboats News Release

Both Swanage's lifeboats were requested to launch following a report of two paddleboarders who were overdue from Studland Beach.

Swanage lifeboat crew

RNLI/Roydon Woodford

Swanage lifeboat crew
Both lifeboats commenced shoreline searches from Swanage to Studland and on arrival in Studland checked with crew on vessels in Studland Bay if any paddleboarders had been seen. Swanage Coastguard Rescue Team arrived on South Beach and made contact with the first informant to obtain further details of the paddleboarders and when they left South Beach. This information enabled HM Coastguard to coordinate a search and extra assets were tasked to assist.

The search effort was coordinated by HM Coastguard. HMCG search and rescue helicopters from Lee-on-the-Solent and St Athan, Coastguard Rescue Teams from Lymington, Poole, Southbourne, St Albans Head, and Swanage, RNLI lifeboats from Swanage, Poole, Yarmouth, Lymington and Mudeford, the National Police Air Service helicopter, and teams from Dorset Police and South West Ambulance Service.

Swanage lifeboats searched an area from Durlston Head to the Training Bank at the entrance to Poole Harbour out as far as Christchurch harbour area. With a description of both paddleboarders provided, a father and son, and with times of when they set off HM Coastguard was able to determine a search area and designate search zones to different search and rescue assets. Although visibility was good when the search started, the sea was choppy with a fresh offshore breeze, and there was a large tide running meaning that search conditions were challenging at times and the potential search area was vast due to how far the casualties could have travelled.

After nearly three hours since the initial tasking radio communications confirmed that Yarmouth lifeboat had recovered the father, but his son was last seen by him two hours earlier and was trying to paddle to land. The father's condition was deteriorating so he was airlifted from Yarmouth lifeboat and landed ashore with South West ambulance. The search continued into darkness and a paddleboard was reported on the beach at Hengistbury Head. Searching was intensified in this area and around six hours after the initial call out, the son was found safe on the beach near Bournemouth Pier.

Thankfully on this occasion both casualties were recovered, and bar suffering from exposure due to the length of time they were on the water, both are recovering well.

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ALB Crew: (Coxn) Dave Turnbull, Steve Williams, Tom Greasty, Bryan Jones, Roydon Woodford, Fergus Holley
ILB Crew: (Helm) Gavin Steeden, Becky Mack, Felix Williams, (Helm) Darren Tomes, Matthew Steeden, Sam Aggas
Shore Crew: (Head Launcher) Andy Redout, Richard Lloyd, Jamie Trumper, Julian Vass

RNLI media contact

For more information please telephone Becky Mack, Swanage RNLI Volunteer Press Officer on 07812 558487 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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