West Kirby RNLI called to back-to-back kite surfer rescues – Wirral Globe

KITESURFERS are being warned of the dangers of not having the correct kit and equipment after back-to-back rescues off Wirral’s coastline.

Kiteboarding or kitesurfing is a sport that involves using wind power with a large power kite to pull a rider across a water, land, or snow surface.

Just after midday last Monday (February 12) a member of the public called 999 after spotting a kite surfer in difficulty and unable to recover themselves.

The casualty had been caught in the fast-moving tide and strong winds and was blown into West Kirby Marine Lake before quickly becoming exhausted. The volunteer lifeboat crew immediately launched at 12.12pm and managed to reach the casualty in just four minutes.

Just 24 hours before at approximately 12.28pm on Sunday, February 11, West Kirby’s volunteer lifeboat crew had been called out to a similar incident involving a kite surfer who was clinging to a buoy after becoming stranded and exhausted, with their kitesurf having drifted away from them.

Ed Rowland, West Kirby RNLI Launch Authority, said: “Thank you to the member of the public and fellow kite surfer who called these incidents into the Coastguard so we were able to respond so quickly.

“As we begin to move away from winter and towards spring, we always see an increase in the amount of people taking part in water sports and leisure activities on the Wirral coastline.

“Although we are leaving the coldest months of winter behind, the weather is still really changeable, and the water temperature is still very cold – which can quickly deplete your energy levels.

“It’s vital that you wear the appropriate kit and equipment for the activity you are taking part in.

“We always recommend you should carry a means of calling or signalling for help, so that if you do find yourself in difficulty – you can alert someone or call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

‘Some other RNLI kitesurfing safety tips are to always kite with another person.

“Check the conditions and tides and don’t go out in conditions you can’t handle.

“Always tell someone you are going out and when you expect to be back.”

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