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Lifeboat joins in windsurfer rescue bid

Lifeboats News Release

Thanks to the keen hearing of a man cutting his hedge, Cowes RNLI lifeboat went into life-saving mode this evening.

Cowes lifeboat races through the choppy sea to the capsized windsurfer.

RNLI/George Chastney

Lifeboat races to the aid of a capsized windsurfer.

As Gurnard resident Simon Morgan was tackling his hedge he heard desperate cries for help coming from the sea. Discovering that a windsurfer had capsized and was being swept westwards by a strong wind and tide, he tried without success to reach him through the choppy sea in his kayak.

It was then that Cowes lifeboat’s operations manager, Mark Southwell, was told just before 5.30 pm of the situation – and immediately ordered the launching of the lifeboat. Simon also alerted the crew of a safety boat at Gurnard Sailing Club to the emergency.

But before help could arrive from either boat, the windsurfer had somehow regained his craft and was safely making his way back to Gurnard beach.

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, Carrybridge 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

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