A 73 year old windsurfer had a lucky escape on Sunday afternoon when he was plucked from the sea in a dramatic rescue by Eastbourne’s inshore lifeboat 

The experienced and well equipped windsurfer had left his wife on the beach in Pevensey Bay and was enjoying the ideal conditions which he had done for the last 30 years. Everything seemed normal until his wife realised she hadn’t seen her husband for some while. Becoming increasingly anxious she contacted HM Coastguard who requested the launch of Eastbourne inshore lifeboat (ILB). Shore based coastguard officers met the now distraught wife who indicated the area of the bay where she had last seem her husband. With such a wide area to search in choppy sea conditions the all-weather lifeboats from Hastings and Eastbourne, along with coastguard rescue helicopter 163 were scrambled. Eventually the volunteer inshore lifeboat located the windsurfer draped across his broken board in a state of great distress. Hastings and Eastbourne all-weather lifeboats were then stood down.

The casualty was taken ashore at Cooden Beach where a paramedic from the rescue helicopter was winched down to assist. Having spent 90 minutes in the water the casualty was dangerously hypothermic and needed urgent hospitalisation. He was taken to Eastbourne hospital by ambulance for further treatment.

Picture courtesy of Pete Abel shows lifeboat relaunching after safely delivering casualty ashore