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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