In blustery conditions, two men on paddleboards with hand-held sails had to be rescued by Poole Lifeboat crew after losing their sails, leaving them unable to get back to shore.
Poole RNLI was on a training exercise in the harbour on the morning of Saturday 13th March 2021, when the crew spotted that a wing surfer had got into difficulty.
Blown away by the strong winds
Wing surfing is the activity of riding a paddleboard or SUP while carrying a hand-held inflatable sail or kite. In this instance, the man’s sail had been blown away by the strong winds towards Salterns Marina on the east side of the harbour.
The lifeboat crew went across to check on him and with no let up in the windy conditions, it was agreed that he wouldn’t be able to get back to shore without his sail, so they pulled him and his board into the inshore lifeboat and brought him safely back to land.
Returned safely back to shore
Shortly after, there was another wing surfer struggling, as his sail had deflated. So he too was retrieved by the lifeboat crew and returned safely back to shore.
The lifeboat volunteers also managed to salvage the first wing surfer’s sail from Salterns Marina.
The crew then carried on with their exercise and eventually returned to the Poole Lifeboat Station by 11 am.
“Conditions were challenging”
Poole RNLI volunteer helm, Ed Davies said:
“We were in the right place at the right time. Conditions were challenging and we were keeping an eye on the wing surfers, so it was fortunate for them, that we were out there in the vicinity and could respond so swiftly.”