Eagle-eyed lifeguards lead to rescue of windsurfer off north Kent coast
Lifeboats News Release
When RNLI lifeguards at Minnis Bay lost sight of a windsurfer in blustery conditions off the north Kent coast today they quickly alerted coastguards, a timely action which lead to an air and sea rescue operation and rescuing of the windsurfer.
Margate's RNLI inshore lifeboat was tasked, along with the coastguard helicopter from Lydd Airport and a coastguard rescue team. Initially there was no sign of the casualty in the estimated position but help was at hand for the windsurfer when the coastal survey vessel Thames Guardian found him in the water some two miles from where he was last sighted.
The vessel's crew quickly had the windsurfer on board and provided initial casualty care as he was showing signs of shock and seasickness. It was decided to transfer him to the lifeboat for a rapid transfer to the beach at Minnis Bay where he was handed over to the RNLI lifeguards and coastguard team and in turn into the care of the South East Coast Ambulance Service.
Peter Barker, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Margate Lifeboat Station said: ‘This chap owes his life to the vigilance of both the RNLI lifeguards and the passing survey vessel which located him some distance from where he got into difficulties. If you see anything suspicious at sea dial 999 and ask for coastguard, you could save someone’s life.’
For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789
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 over 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.