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Southend-on-Sea RNLI volunteers rescue two kitesurfers in trouble

Lifeboats News Release

HM Coastguard tasked Southend RNLI volunteers to a report of persons in the water being swept out to sea in the vicinity of Shoebury Boom on Saturday November 11 at 11.46am.

Southend RNLI inshore lifeboat D-818 Len Thorne GM DFC being launched from RNLI slipway

Southend RNLI

D-818 Len Thorne GM DFC launches in service

During preparations for Southend RNLI Lifeboat annual Hog Roast at the station, the volunteer crew pagers alerted them to an immediate launch. Without hesitation, preparations were stopped and the crew kitted up for service.

Southend RNLI volunteers launch the charity’s D-class inshore lifeboat D-818, Len Thorne GM DFC, at 11.54am in smooth seas with a moderate Northwest offshore breeze then headed towards the reported location one mile offshore from Shoebury East Beach. Further information was received from HM Coastguard of two kitesurfers drifting towards Shoebury Boom in a strong outgoing tide.

National Coastwatch Institution Southend who had alerted HM Coastguard to the incident, had observers watching the two casualties and relaying vital information to the RNLI crew members. The casualties were been swept close the Boom. They were located by Southend inshore lifeboat at 12.05pm approximately 20 meters West of Shoebury Boom one mile offshore.

Being closer to the Boom, the first casualty was taken onboard the charity’s lifeboat. Shortly after, the second casualty, who had by then drifted to the East side, was also taken onboard. A quick medical assessment of both casualties by the volunteer crew found them in good health and no immediate medical attention required.

Both the kitesurfers equipment was found and recovered by the RNLI lifeboat crew, and the casualties were then taken to West beach to the care of HM Southend Coastguard and Essex ambulance service who checked the casualties for hypothermia and possibilities of secondary drowning. Both casualties checked out healthy.

Lifeboat Helm Daniel Wanna said;

‘The two kitesurfers were unfortunately caught out by a fast outgoing tide and offshore breeze, they were well prepared wearing wetsuits, helmets and buoyancy aids. One of the casualties was able to call 999 contacting HM Coastguard on his Apple watch. Being well prepared helped save their lives and allow a quick response from all rescue teams’.

Southend volunteer crew were stood down by HM Coastguard at 12.35pm and returned to station making D-818 Len Thorne GM DFC ready for service by 13.20pm. The crew then continuing preparations for the charity’s evening event.

Notes to editors

Southend-on-Sea RNLI have been saving lives at sea since 1879, they operate two D-class inshore lifeboats, housed at both ends of Southend pier in addition to an Atlantic 85 lifeboat and Rescue Hovercraft.

Photo credits; Southend RNLI & Toni Dines.

RNLI Media contacts

· Nigel Gilchrist, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Southend-on-Sea RNLI, 07765875300 or [email protected]

· Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (South East), 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 [email protected]

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


Southend RNLI inshore lifeboat bringing two kitesurfers ashore at west beach Shoeburyness

Toni Dines

RNLI volunteer crew arrive onshore with casualties

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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