Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards and lifeboat crews were called out to help a kitesurfer in difficulty in the sea off Brean beach on Sunday morning (January 26th).
A walker had spotted the man ‘struggling’ after it appeared that his lines had become tangled and he’d got separated from his board in the water near Brean Down.
RNLI lifeboat crews from Weston and Burnham, who were already out on training nearby, quickly found the man and he was taken ashore.
A Burnham Coastguard said: “One enthusiastic kite surfer was out making the most of the day but the weather conditions became less favourable and he started to experience some difficulty.”
“The wind had dropped a bit and the waves had tangled his lines, leaving him unable to get moving again. He then became separated from his board and was swimming against the tide.”
“Another beach user had spotted the kitesurfer in difficulty and called 999, asking for the Coastguards. The Coastguard Operations Centre (CGOC) took the call and immediately tasked lifeboat assets who were out in the bay carrying out some training and, as the main Government agency, we were tasked to oversee the incident and make contact with the kitesurfer, once returned to shore by the lifeboat crews.”
“We arrived at Brean Beach where the kitesurfer had been picked up by the lifeboat crews, returned to the shore and was warming up in his vehicle before packing his equipment up for the journey home. He was suitably kitted out for the day but was still a little cold and tired from fighting the tide.”
An RNLI spokesman said: “The large kite was spotted in the sea approximately a half mile south of the Down and around 300 to 400 metres from the beach. On thorough investigation of the kite, they discovered that the casualty was not caught up and trapped in the lines as immediately suspected.”
“Arriving on scene a few seconds behind the Burnham lifeboat, having also been alerted by Milford Haven Coastguard, the crew of the Weston-Super-Mare Atlantic 75 lifeboat spotted the casualty some four hundred yards away from the kite and took him onto their lifeboat. After medically assessing him he was found to be cold but in relatively good health. The surfer was therefore transported to the beach.”
Burnham-On-Sea RNLI Helmsman Scot Rundle added: “We were diverted to the casualty area South of Brean Down and on spotting the kite immediately checked to see if the surfer had become trapped in the kite’s cordage.”
“Thankfully this was not the case and the Weston lifeboat which had reached the scene at more or less the same time located the casualty and took him on board. The decision was taken for the Weston crew to deliver the casualty and kite to the shore as the Atlantic 75 has a shallower draft than the 85 with less chance of running aground.”