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Bridlington RNLI on exercise diverted after mayday call to paddleboarders

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteer crew of the Bridlington RNLI, whilst on a morning’s exercise, were called into action to save two paddleboarders being carried out to sea.

Bridlington RNLI all-weather boat Anthony Patrick Jones launching.

RNLI/Mike Milner

Bridlington RNLI all-weather boat Anthony Patrick Jones launching.

Volunteer crew from Bridlington RNLI lifeboat station had earlier launched the all-weather boat (ALB) Anthony Patrick Jones on exercise on Saturday (7 October) at 9.04am and headed towards Flamborough Head to carry out several pre-planned exercises. At 10.41am, a mayday request was received from a passing pleasure yacht who had spotted two paddleboarders in difficulty. Both were in the water and were unable to recover themselves back to the beach due to the wind and currents taking them out to sea, just north of Flamborough Head. HM Coastguards contacted the Coxswain, Steve Emmerson, on the Bridlington lifeboat who was approximately two miles from the scene. As there was an imminent risk to life the ALB was diverted to assist the casualties and was on scene in just 10 minutes.

Upon reaching the casualties, both were taken aboard the lifeboat at 10.56am. One of the casualties had sustained minor injuries and was very cold, tired but breathing fine and was alert. He was given casualty care by the RNLI volunteers and dressings were applied to his feet in challenging conditions with a 1-meter swell. Both casualties were taken back to the harbour and handed over to the HM Coastguards arriving at 11.26am. The casualties were advised in relation of secondary drowning and what to look for and advised to go to accident and emergency if required although they were insistent that they had not taken on water whilst in the sea.

It transpired that the casualties had been out since 8am, had entered one of the caves and become stuck trying to get out. One of the paddleboarders had come off his board trying to exit the cave and hit himself against the rocks and injured his finger on the board, he also had sustained lots of cuts on his feet. Both managed to finally exit the cave but got into difficulty as they had run out of energy. The paddleboards were suitably equipped having with them buoyancy aids, whistles, and mobile phones but due to the location were unable to get a signal. Thankfully they were spotted by the passing pleasure yacht who put out the mayday request. The crew were stood down shortly afterwards and the ALB was recovered, washed down, refuelled and was ready for service by 1pm.

One of the casualties said ‘We heard it was a good forecast so we headed up from the Midlands to North Landing to view the caves on our paddleboarders, but on arrival the weather was very different to the forecast. As we got nearer to the rocks we were pushed in by the force of the strong waves and both got thrown in the water, it was like being in a washing machine under water and as we came up, we were pulled under again by the strong waves. We managed to get to shore and I noticed the fin on my paddleboard had snapped off, so we had to sit for maybe 45 mins watching the waves crash on the rocks, we decided to attempt to get off the shore as we had no phone coverage and was getting cold and the tide was coming in'.

'We eventually made it off shore and as we paddled the wind grew stronger and we were paddling against the currant and was getting nowhere, we rang 999 and said we were stranded in the sea and needed help. A jet skier and a yacht, who had also called the HM Coastguard, came to help us but the Bridlington RNLI was in sight. The RNLI pulled us on the boat and gave us a hot drink and chocolate to warm us up, and gave me first aid to my cuts on my feet. They were magnificent in their professionalism and so calm in their job. As we got to shore the coastguards took care of us. A massive thank you to Bridlington RNLI and the HM Coastguards, I will be donating and would like people to know that you can still ring 999 even if you have no phone coverage'.

Note to editors.

None boat photographs by kind permission of Martin who was one of the males rescued.

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