It was a day of fun turned to fear when a grandfather and his 11-year-old grandson were carried over 200 yards offshore by unexpectedly severe weather during a paddleboarding trip in Skegness last July.
Caught by the Wind
Enjoying a leisurely day on the water, the pair were caught off guard when the weather quickly worsened. The wind and water conditions rapidly escalated, leading to their frightening predicament.
“We just started to drift away and we needed to get back. I kept looking towards the shore but couldn’t see anyone,” said the 65-year-old grandfather. His primary concern? The safety of his young grandson.
The quick-thinking grandfather managed to signal their distress to his wife onshore, who immediately called the Coastguard.
This swift reaction set into motion a rescue operation involving teams from Skegness, Wrangle, Mablethorpe Coastguard, and Skegness RNLI’s inshore lifeboat.
The Coastguard’s Swift Response
Upon arrival, lifeguards were already assisting the duo. The lifeboat successfully retrieved the grandson, and the Coastguard Rescue Teams and East Midlands Ambulance Service checked over both.
The grandfather’s gratitude for the team’s quick and professional response was clear. “I want to pay tribute to the brilliant work of the lifeguards, the RNLI crew, and the Coastguard,” he declared.
Essential Water Safety Reminders
Tom Sharp, Senior Coastal Operations Officer, emphasised the importance of preparedness and awareness of potential risks when partaking in water activities like paddleboarding.
“Paddleboards are very susceptible to the wind and are easily blown offshore, so check the weather forecast and tide times before you leave,” he advised.
In the UK alone, 350 incidents involving paddleboarders occurred in the 12 months to March 2023.
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Police Dog Akin: A Hero in the Night Saving an Assault Victim in Somerset— Emergency-Services.News (@ES_News_) August 3, 2023
In the quiet of the #Somerset night, a four-legged hero was on a crucial mission.
Police Dog Akin, a skilled member of @ASPoliceDogs from @ASPolice undertook a potentially life-saving task.
Late in the… pic.twitter.com/X3j37I2Y27
HM Coastguard rescues an average of 25,000 people annually, with common causes being difficulties in the water, getting lost or injured in mountainous terrains, and being stranded in vehicles.
Depending on the circumstances, each rescue operation could cost tens of thousands of pounds.
A Hard-Learned Lesson
Reflecting on the day’s events, the grandfather admitted regretting the situation.
He stated that his takeaway from this incident was always to read safety signs, check weather conditions and tides, and never underestimate the potential danger of the sea.
He added, “Always be brave and make the decision to not go out, if it doesn’t feel completely right or safe, do not do it.”
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