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Elderly windsurfer saved by Eastbourne lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

A 73 year old windsurfer had a lucky escape on Sunday afternoon when he was plucked from the sea in a dramatic rescue by Eastbourne’s inshore lifeboat

Relaunch of ILB with casualty safely ashore

RNLI/Pete Abel

With casualty safely ashore ILB relaunches

The experienced and well equipped windsurfer had left his wife on the beach in Pevensey Bay and was enjoying the ideal conditions which he had done for the last 30 years. Everything seemed normal until his wife realised she hadn’t seen her husband for some while. Becoming increasingly anxious she contacted HM Coastguard who requested the launch of Eastbourne inshore lifeboat (ILB). Shore based coastguard officers met the now distraught wife who indicated the area of the bay where she had last seem her husband. With such a wide area to search in choppy sea conditions the all-weather lifeboats from Hastings and Eastbourne, along with coastguard rescue helicopter 163 were scrambled. Eventually the volunteer inshore lifeboat located the windsurfer draped across his broken board in a state of great distress. Hastings and Eastbourne all-weather lifeboats were then stood down.

The casualty was taken ashore at Cooden Beach where a paramedic from the rescue helicopter was winched down to assist. Having spent 90 minutes in the water the casualty was dangerously hypothermic and needed urgent hospitalisation. He was taken to Eastbourne hospital by ambulance for further treatment.

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.

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