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Paddleboarder rescued by Berwick-upon-Tweed RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Today (25 May) at 2.39pm, HM Coastguard requested the immediate launch of RNLI lifeboats, to a person reported in water between Holy Island and Ross Sands who had been separated from their paddle board.

RNLI/Hazel Bettison

Berwick-upon-Tweed RNLI Crew who were visiting Seahouses RNLI Annual Harbour Day. responded and made best speed from Seahouses Harbour.

Weather conditions today partly cloudy, with a south easterly force 3 wind, sea state slight.

Not only did RNLI lifeboat respond but also a vessel who heard the ‘May Day’ call from H M Humber Coastguard also responded in the search.

Helmsman Michael Percy said, ‘Any immediate response to person in the water is always a concern, time is critical. Holy Island is a massive area and shallow in places, with fast moving tides and breeze, so there was a lot to think about.

We initially located first the paddle board but no person attached to it or near by. This meant the stakes were raised a little higher. The paddle board had drifted 50 to 100 meters from the location given.

Thankfully the casualty was wearing a buoyancy aid and a wetsuit, but still needed to be located as soon as possible as they had entered the water .

The casualty's friend made an immediate call for help and in doing so helped HM Coastguard direct and help locate the casualty's position, enabling the lifeboat crew to be on scene as quickly as possible.

Crew Navigator Ken Surtees spotted the casualty waving at the lifeboat whilst clinging to a pot marker. The casualty was quickly brought upon the Berwick-upon-Tweed Atlantic 85 lifeboat.

The lifeboat returned to the Seahouses Harbour, where the casualty was met by awaiting, Seahouses lifeboat crew and the local Coastguard Rescue Team where they were monitored until the arrival of North East Ambulance Service, to be check over for symptoms of hypothermia and shock.

The crew today were Ken Surtees, Rense Bell and on his first shout with the RNLI, Adam Bettison, and they executed their duties efficiently and were able to bring the casualty back to safety. As the water is still cold at this time of year, had thye been in the water much longer things could have been very different.

Lifeboat crew Adam Bettison said: ‘I feel proud to have been part of Berwick-upon-Tweed RNLI on my first shout today. Most importantly it was a successful rescue.

'I would like to thank the Helm and everyone at our lifeboat station that has given me training and their time since I joined the crew, as today it was all of my training that gave me the confidence and ability to apply the skills needed to save lives at sea.’

For more information on Water Safety visit the RNLI website at for safety advice and tips and to recognise the risks.

If you spot someone in danger in the water, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard, the RNLI are on call 24 hours a day,365 days a year to save lives at sea.

Berwick-upon-Tweed RNLI returning to Seahouses Harbour with rescued paddle boarder, handing over to awaiting H M Coastguard

RNLI/Hazel Bettison

Berwick-upon-Tweed RNLI returning to Seahouses Harbour

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.