A kite surfer in difficulty off the Yaverland coastline was successfully rescued yesterday evening (Thursday) thanks to the efforts of members of the public and the Sandown and Shanklin Independent Lifeboat.
The independent and voluntary lifeboat crew were tasked to launch by the National Maritime Operations Centre (formally Solent Coastguard) at 17:40 yesterday following a 999 call reporting a kite surfer in difficulty and drifting in Sandown Bay near to Yaverland.
Following an immediate launch, the person in difficulty was swiftly found within just 3 minutes. It was found the kite surfer was still connected to his kite just off Yaverland beach having drifted with the current, however luckily a passing tender with three persons on board had spotted the kite surfer in difficulty, got him alongside their tender and was making their way back to shore with the surfer in tow upon arrival of the lifeboat.
Thanking them for their assistance, SSILB took over the tow with a crew member having been placed into the water to assist the kite surfer ashore. Thankfully, the kite surfer was uninjured.
Bembridge Coastguard Rescue Team responded to the scene, collating details of the man in difficulty.
2nd Coxswain Richard Chantler said:
“SSILB would like to thank the member of the public for calling in the sighting of the kite surfer and reporting it to the Coastguard by making a 999 call. This helped get our Lifeboat to the kite surfer in good time and with the help of a local fisherman assisting un-sure if it had been called in or not, the kite surfer was fit and well when back on shore.
“If he had not been spotted by the member of the public, or the local fisherman had not stopped to assist also, we may not of been aware of him being out there with the darker nights setting in until he was reported missing. This could have been a totally different outcome to this rescue and can’t thank the people involved enough for doing the right things at the right time.
“Please dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard, we would rather check then leave it to a possible situation and help someone if needed”.
The lifeboat and her crew returned back to the station before being refuelled, washed down and re-housed ready for the next tasking.