Dramatic Scenes As RNLI Lifeboat Almost Capsizes During Mission To Rescue Surfer

Despite all of the warnings to stay away from the coast during storm Ciara, some people still thought that ‘catching a few waves’ was a good idea. 

A video uploaded to Twitter (see below) captures the dramatic heart-stopping moment when an RNLI lifeboat almost capsizes in the massive surf as the brave crew risk their own lives to save the life of somebody who decided to go out for a quick surf. 

The person who uploaded the video to Twitter said:

“Brave boys from @RNLI off out to rescue some idiot surfer off Hastings in #StormCiara. 

“Come home safe boys”.

The lifeboat sent out to find the surfer appears to be one of the RNLI’s latest ‘All-Weather’ Shannon Class lifeboats. 

The Shannon-class lifeboat is the latest class of lifeboat currently being deployed to the RNLI fleet to serve the shores of the British Isles. 

The Shannon class lifeboat, costing around £2.5million each, replaces the Mersey class carriage-launched lifeboat. And remember, these boats are paid for by the charitable donations from the public. 

The brave crew aboard the vessel would have been in good hands as the self-righting boat has been tested in severe weather conditions. 

But the vessel would have still been vulnerable to the surf because had the vessel of capsized as the surf crashed down upon it, then it could have damaged the upper structure of the boat had it of hit the seabed during the downward motion of the waves. 

And let us not forget, that the brave crew are all volunteers; risking their own lives to save someone silly enough to head out into the massive seas during one of the worst storms to hit the UK in decades. 

The crew of the SAR helicopter would have also been in severe danger as they battled the 80mph winds.

Another Twitter user uploaded a video of the surfer in trouble who had initiated the call after a Coastguard patrol spotted him. 

In a tweet, @RichardConnolly said:

“This is the surfer when he lost his board, and it went from bad to worse for him. 

“He even refused help from standers-by. 

“He could have prevented this whole scene with the rescuers”.

The missing surfer was found alive by the Coastguard about six miles away from where he entered the water in Rye Bay shortly before 13:30.

The emergency services were initially alerted to the incident at around 1100 hours GMT after he was spotted struggling in the surf off the coast of Hastings, East Sussex. 

HM Coastguard said: 

“The surfer was seen to lose his surfboard by a Coastguard team who were out on patrol this afternoon.

“The Coastguard helicopter, Hastings RNLI Lifeboat, Bexhill Coastguard Rescue Team and Ryde Bay Coastguard Rescue Team carried out the search for him.”

On Friday, two days before the storm struck, the RNLI issued advice to people to stay away from the coast. A spokesperson for the lifesaving charity said:

‘The RNLI is encouraging people to exercise extreme caution if visiting the shoreline, especially along exposed cliffs, seafronts and piers.

‘The expected strong winds will bring heavy rain and widespread gales across the UK and Ireland this weekend and pose a severe safety risk to those visiting the coast.

‘The Met Office has issued several weather warnings starting from Saturday for north-western areas, then covering the whole of the UK by Sunday. 

‘Storm Ciara is expected to bring a range of impacts, including delays and cancellations to transport services, damage to power supplies and large coastal waves’.

Providing advice on how to stay safe this weekend, RNLI Regional Water Safety Lead, Guy Addington said, 

‘This rough weather could make visiting our coasts around the UK and Ireland treacherous and bring very dangerous sea conditions.’

‘Sadly, around 150 people accidentally lose their lives around the UK and Irish waters each year and over half of these people didn’t plan on ever entering the water. Slips, trips and falls can be a major factor in these kinds of incidents.’

This past year, the RNLI has been busier than ever, and stormy conditions can mean additional call outs for the already extremely busy volunteer crews. 

But whatever the weather, RNLI volunteers will still be on call to rescue those in difficulty at sea.

The RNLI’s major fundraising appeal, The Perfect Storm, which aims to help the charity get back to living within its means, is set to help our volunteers to continue to save lives at sea. 

To find out more or to donate visit RNLI.org/ThePerfect Storm.

With all that said, it makes you wonder why on earth the surfer thought that heading out into the sea was a ‘good’ idea!? 

But do you think he was ‘right’ to give it a go? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

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23 comments

  • Pamela Grantham

    No, he was not right. It was the most stupid thing to do especially as he was putting other lives at risk.

  • He should be fined a fairly hefty amount for having the lifeboat called out to rescue him. There have been more than enough warnings about being careful and not going near the sea. Foolish and selfish.

  • What an utter surf Muppet! And the Darwin award goes to…….

  • Martin Hall-Kenny

    This behaviour should be classed as causing reckless endangerment to the rescue service personnel who had to deal with him. If criminal charges are not possibe, then the law should be changed to make this behaviour an offence.

  • They should prosecute the surfer for endangering others lives.

  • Muriel Walker

    Absolute selfish idiot. An almost unbelievable fact if that the RNLI is a voluntary service which relies on public funding.

  • CHRISTINE Davies

    Prosecute, name and shame. What an utterly selfish individual!!

  • Total bellend, i hope the authorities hit him hard with the whole expense bill. These folk are not full time Lifeboat rescuers, they have ordinary jobs & families back at home who have to live with the thought that their loved ones might some day, not return from such a rescue. If he gets confronted by friends or family of these folk then he’s only himself to blame, few slaps might wake the ignorant thing up a little, rant over…

  • colin darlow

    Total idiot unbelievable

  • ‘Criminal Stupidity’, such as that displayed by this idiot, & that of anyone who causes rescuers to risk their lives in situations which should never have arisen, should be made a punishable offence-having to pay for the material cost of the rescue should be part of it, then community service picking up litter, cleaning up other idiot’s vomit. etc, another part of the punishment. Putting other people’s lives at risk by your own arrogance & stupidity is disgusting I sincerely hope that all of the lifeboat crew- & the boat- are alright.

  • What an absolute idiot. He should be fined for this, putting other people’s lives at stake due to his own stupidity. As an aside, daily dits, please use the grammar check function before posting. “Had the vessel of capsized” and “had it of hit the sea bed”. It is petty, I know, the misuse of the word “of” is a pet hate of mine. Otherwise,a nicely written article. And well done to the rescuers – bravo 👏

  • Educate educate educate!
    Take a risk after you have been warned be it in your own head. Nobody should have to risk there life’s for such stupidity, selfish and reckless behaviour. How much warning did the surfer need?

  • Derek Barkaway

    Absolutely irresponsible behaviour, especially after the public had been warned to stay away, the best thing now would be lock him up in a police sell for a few days, until he comes to his senses! And make pay a hefty donation to the RNLI, they deserve it!

  • Gordon Anderson

    So Stupidity is a crime now? Well 17.4 million brits should be locked up then

    • Bridget Wood

      Stupidity is a crime when it puts other people’s lives at risk and they have been warned not to do something.Hope he has the decency to donate some money to the RNLI for saving his life.

  • Denise Mumford

    Such an idiotic thing to do, warnings are given for a reason and that’s not to be ignored. I take my hat off to those brave rescuers risking their own lives to save this silly man. He should be fined for causing havoc as he didn’t take any notice of the warnings

  • Absolute idiot!! He should be charged the cost of launching the lifeboat!! And named!!

  • He should pay the cost of the whole operation THEN should be arrested and charged with endanger3human life.

  • David Abrahams

    An absolute idiot. Incredible bravery displayed by the lifeboat crew and others to rescue someone with no common sense or understanding. He should at least be named and shamed.

  • Bellend

  • Roland Scales

    It was foolhardy enough to park cars on or near the beach in these conditions, but the surfer’s behaviour was off the Richter scale. He should be prosecuted for endangering the lives of the lifeboat crew.

  • Complete out and out Tosser should pay for all expenses bet he never apologized as he thinks he is the elite .

Let us know what you think!