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Port Talbot RNLI lifeboat rescue kite surfer

Lifeboats News Release

Port Talbot RNLI lifeboat was tasked at 4.25pm on Tuesday (21 February) after reports of two kite surfers missing.

RNLI/Mel Cooper

Launching into a rough sea

A group of kite surfers had gone into the sea just off the Swansea University Bay Campus and two of them had got into difficulties. One had abandoned his kite and made it back to shore whilst the other one was being blown across the bay towards Port Talbot, hanging onto his kite.

Port Talbot RNLI lifeboat was launched in very rough conditions, with big waves breaking on shore and very strong winds and rain sweeping across the area.

The Mumbles RNLI's all-weather lifeboat, together with Port Talbot RNLI D class lifeboat and Mumbles Coastguard Search and Rescue team were also involved in the search.

The Port Talbot RNLI Land Rover was also involved in searching Aberavon Beach and soon discovered a kite blown up on the sand with no sign of the kite surfer.

Whilst continuing the search one of the crew in the vehicle spotted another kite approximately 100 yards off shore. The crew member waded into the surf to establish if there was anyone there with the kite and spotted a person clinging to the kite. The lifeboat was immediately contacted to come in and two of the crew pulled the kite surfer into the boat and took him into the beach together with his kite.

The Land Rover then proceeded back to the boathouse and the surfer was given a hot drink, a shower and checked over by a paramedic crew member.

The ambulance service was also called and the person was checked over by them and found to be okay and not needing hospital treatment.

The search by the lifeboat continued looking for a possible second person whose kite was on the beach. However the surfer who had made it back to shore at the campus was picked up by the coastguard and brought to Port Talbot, to identify whether the kite was his or not. It turned out that it was indeed his kite so all services were then stood down and returned to station.

Port Talbot RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Rob Harris, said: 'This was a very difficult service in very difficult conditions and showed great teamwork between two RNLI lifeboat stations and other emergency services.

'The actions of the crew undoubtedly prevented a life being lost at sea.'

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Mel Cooper, Port Talbot RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07814 985057 or Chris Cousens, RNLI Press Officer, Wales and West, on 07748 265496 or 01745 585162 or by email on chris_cousens@rnli.org.uk.

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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.

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