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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.’
 
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RNLI media contacts
 
  • Peter Barker, RNLI Margate Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer07974 064304 peter_barker@rnli.org.uk
  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252  tim_ash@rnli.org.uk
  • Sophie Coller-Nielsen Press Officer (London/East/South East), 0207 6207416, 07824 416615 email sophie_coller-nielsen@rnli.org.uk
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789
 

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.

 

The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland

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