Weston-super-Mare RNLI Lifeboats save an exhausted Kite Surfer

MS Weston super Mare D class Credit Howard Evans

There was a brisk wind blowing on Sunday morning. This attracted many to the popular kite surfing beach at Uphill on the south side of Weston Bay. When one of these surfers got into trouble it was the RNLI which came to the rescue.

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Sunday morning is one of the times the lifeboat volunteers at Weston train to enable them to deal with the wide range of emergencies they are called to in all sorts of weather. They start their exercises at ten o’clock but on this Sunday they were called to their station a bit earlier.

It was just after nine o’clock on this Sunday morning when Swansea Coastguard was informed of a kite surfer in trouble off Uphill beach. The RNLI was requested to launch and within ten minutes of their pagers being activated the volunteers of Weston-super-Mare RNLI lifeboat station at Birnbeck Island had both their lifeboats launched.

They proceeded at best speed to Uphill and found that a kite surfer had lost control of his kite. It had landed in the water and, in the approved manner, he had disconnected it to stop himself being blown into the Grand Pier.

However because the man was swimming against the tide he was unable to get to the shore and was exhausted. The D class RNLI lifeboat Anna Stock took him on board with his equipment. He was checked over by the crew and apart from being tired no injuries were found. Thus the lifeboat took him back into Uphill beach and handed him over to the waiting Coastguard.

The lifeboats then carried on with their normal Sunday morning exercise.

RNLI Helmsman Nigel Congram said; ‘The tides in Weston Bay are too strong for most people to be able to swim against. They also always run in a clockwise direction. Our advice in circumstances such as this is to swim with the tide towards Black Rock at the mouth of the River Axe. Here they will be safe and can be helped ashore by the Coastguard or ourselves.’

Just before midday the crews were still on station and were asked to launch and stand by as a casualty with a suspected broken leg was being evacuated from the bottom of the cliffs at Middle Hope Bay, Sand Bay. The Coastguard were able to carry out this extraction successfully so the crew of the lifeboats were stood down and able to return their lifeboats to the station and return to their families.

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