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Lifeboats News Release

On Monday 3 July, a major rescue operation was mounted to locate two missing paddleboarders off the Poole/Bournemouth coast.

RNLI/Nathan Williams

Mudeford Servant - Stock Image

With one of the casualties located, the volunteer Mudeford RNLI crew were tasked to assist in the search for the remaining paddleboarder near Hengistbury Head. The lifeboat launched at 8:55pm arriving on scene at 9:00pm. The crew joined a complex search operation comprising, seven lifeboats, two helicopters, three coastguard teams and a police launch.

With daylight fading the Mudeford RNLI crew operated an expanding search pattern to locate the missing casualty. Shortly after 10pm local police confirmed that the missing casualty had been found on shore near Bournemouth Pier. He had been in the water for several hours. Both casualties were taken to Poole hospital for treatment for effects of exposure and sunburn.

Launch Authority, Steve Doe, explained, “Paddleboards are particularly susceptible to the effects of wind and currents. It is vital paddleboarders understand local conditions and the dangers around them, especially far from shore. Both casualties were well-equipped with lifejackets and wetsuits. This no doubt contributed to their successful recovery. The rescue was the result of a major coordination of emergency services, and we are delighted that both are safe and well.”

The Mudeford Lifeboat had also been tasked earlier the same evening to a separate incident, with two paddleboarders in difficulty, near the entrance to Mudeford harbour. Both casualties were also safely recovered.

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.