Littlestone lifeboat crew 'save' mother and 4-year-old son on paddleboard more than a mile from Hythe beach

Contributed by editor on Sep 10, 2019 - 07:45 PM

Fishing vessel on tow to Dungeness with lifeboat in foreground  Photo: RNLI/Heather Crittenden

The Littlestone RNLI inshore lifeboat was called on Thursday 5 September at 10.50am to a mother and son swept 1.2 miles out to sea while paddle boarding. It was followed by another call, this time to a fishing boat with rope around its propellers.

The female paddle boarder called 999 and asked for the Coastguard from her mobile phone after she and her four year old son found themselves in difficulties 1.2 miles east of Hythe (Kent) sea front after struggling to make it back to the beach.

RNLI crew members quickly found the casualties in the water who were a little cold and wet but very pleased to see our volunteers who got them aboard the lifeboat.


The crew then liased with the UK Coastguard to meet the RNLI lifeboat on Hythe beach and check over the two very thankful casualties. No medical attention was needed.


Dean Miller boat helm said: 'Luckily the female casualty had the means with her to be able to call for help and knew to call 999 and ask for the coastguard. They were very lucky today but did everything right to enable the lifeboat to assist them as quickly as possible and essentially save the lives* of herself and her son.'

*A life saved is a specific RNLI criteria which is decided after careful analysis of a range of criteria. A rescue is categorised as a life saved, where, if it weren't for the intervention of the RNLI, a person would most likely have died.

As the crew headed back to the station, another call came in at 12.10pm from the UK Coastguard regarding another incident involving a commercial fishing vessel that was snagged with fishing nets around its propeller just off Littlestone shore.

After trying to cut the boat free of the nets, the volunteer crew towed the fishing boat to it’s home on Dungeness beach.

How to stay safe when paddle boarding

Always tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back. Don’t leave the house without a mobile phone or communication device.

- Check the weather forecast and tide times before you set out - they can change quickly.
- Avoid offshore winds.
- Always go with a friend.
- Wear a suitable personal flotation device.
- Wear suitable clothing for time of year.
- Always wear your leash and hold onto your board if you get into trouble - it will help you float.
- Always make sure you launch and recover between the black and white chequered flags.
- Consider other water users by learning the rights of way in the surf. This can save you and others getting injured.
- Get the appropriate level of training.


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