Always be wary of the sea warns lifeboatman Tony

By Chris Cornford Jun 6, 2021

Freshwater Independent Lifeboat coxswain, Tony Moore, has called for holiday makers to be wary of the sea after the crew was called out twice to incidents on Sunday.

It was just two of a series of emergencies which were dealt with by various Island lifeboat volunteers as people made the most of the bank holiday sunshine.
The first incident involved a group of seven paddle boarders, including a seven-year-old child and three teenagers, being rope-rescued from the beach after getting stuck near Freshwater Bay. The incident began shortly before 2pm when Solent Coastguard were alerted to the plight of a group of people at Watcombe Bay, to the west of Freshwater. The group paddle boarded around from Freshwater but were then unable to get out safely from Watcombe Bay.

Both Yarmouth RNLI and Freshwater Independent Lifeboat attended the scene but, due to the tidal conditions, the casualties could not be evacuated onto either lifeboat.
Coastguard Rescue Teams from Ventnor and The Needles then worked to recover the group to the top of the cliffs by means of a rope rescue.
Later in the evening, a man in an inflatable kayak called to be rescued after paddling from Hurst Spit to the Needles and getting caught out by the strong current.

Tony said: “People have got to be wary. When incidents like these go wrong, they go very wrong. People just aren’t thinking; the sea might look fantastic but there is a dangerous element to it.
“They can buy these paddle boards from a beach shop and, with no experience, set off into the sea. On Sunday, it did get choppy and quite windy out there. If you have never experienced it, a three-foot wave can seem like a tidal wave.
“They should always ask advice about the tides and take great care out there.”