Donate now

Aberystwyth RNLI launch to assist Paddle Boarders

Lifeboats News Release

Concerns were raised by a member of the public for the safety of two paddle boarders off Constitution Hill, Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth Atlantic 85 Lifeboat Spirit of Friendship launching to assist two paddle boarders.

RNLI/Geraint Wheeler

Aberystwyth Lifeboat Launch

Aberystwyth’s inshore Atlantic 85 Class lifeboat Spirit of Friendship was launched at 4.15pm on Friday 9th June following a report from a member of the public, concerned for the safety of two paddle boarders. They were seen off Constitution Hill, Aberystwyth where there were strong offshore winds. The volunteers crew quickly located the paddle boarders and established they were safe and well and competent to return to the shore unaided.

Commenting on the callout, Lifeboat Operations Manager Geraint Wheeler said:

'We are grateful for the vigilance of the caller reporting their concerns given strong offshore winds. The RNLI have seen an increase in the numbers of calls to paddleboarders as the sport increases in popularity and significant number are to people who have been blown or swept out to sea. If you find yourself in difficulty at the coast, please call 999 and ask for the coastguard.’

In recent years, stand-up paddleboarding has increased in popularity as an accessible and enjoyable activity for many, particularly since 2020.

The RNLI’s lifesaving figures show:

Over the past five years, RNLI lifeboat volunteers have helped save the lives of 77 stand up paddleboarders, with 32 lives saved last year.

In 2022, RNLI lifeguards saw a staggering 155% rise in paddleboarding incidents compared with 2021 while volunteer lifeboat crews saw an increase of 20%.

In 2018, the charity’s lifeguards responded to 247 paddleboarding incidents compared to 1,290 last year, a 422% increase over the past five years.

The RNLI has teamed up with 12 expert training agencies and National Governing Bodies (NGBs)** across the UK and Ireland to develop and promote four key safety messages for paddleboarders. The group are encouraging those heading out on the water to:

  • Wear a buoyancy aid
  • Carry a phone in a waterproof pouch
  • Wear the correct leash
  • Avoid offshore winds (winds blowing out to sea)

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.