Solent Coastguard requested that Weymouth RNLI all-weather lifeboat launch to investigate reports of two paddleboarders in difficulties approx. 1 mile out to sea from Chesil Cove Portland.
The lifeboat was launched at 3.30pm on Tuesday 6th September and was on scene some 25 minutes later at approximately 3.55pm, 1.2 miles from Chesil Cove. They found the paddleboarders safe and well and extremely pleased to see the lifeboat. They had been blown by the offshore wind and tide much further out to sea than they had planned.
They and their boards were taken onto the lifeboat and were then transported back to just offshore from Chesil Cove where they were able to get back on their boards and safely paddle back to shore where they were met by Portland Bill Coastguard CRT.
The lifeboat was released 4.15pm and returned to station at 4.50pm where it was refuelled and made ready for the next shout
The RNLI offers the following advice to stand up paddleboarders.
Simple tips to improve your time paddleboarding
- If you can, always go with a friend. It’s more fun, and they can help you if you get into difficulty.
- If you are going out alone, 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.
- Bringing your phone to take some photos? Make sure you keep it in a waterproof pouch. That way it won’t get wet, and you can use it to call for help in an emergency too.
- Check the weather forecast and tide times before you set out. If the water is too choppy, you might find it difficult, especially if you are a beginner. And be aware, the conditions can change quickly.
- Avoid offshore winds. They will quickly blow your paddleboard far out to sea, which can make it extremely tiring and difficult to paddle back to shore.
- You should wear a suitable personal flotation device. This can be a buoyancy aid or a lifejacket. Choose one that still allows you plenty of movement so you can paddle freely. Not only will it keep you afloat, but it will also help give you time to recover should you fall in – and chances are you will!
- Wear suitable clothing for the time of year. In the winter, you will want to use a wet or dry suit. In the summer, you might be able to get away with a swim suit. But if you are going to be in the water for a long time, you might want to upgrade to something that keeps you warm.
- You should always use a paddleboard with a appropriate leash. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to swim after your paddleboard if you fall off. The leash will also help you stay connected to your board if you get into trouble and help you float. British Canoeing has some great tips to help you decide which leash is right for you.
- If you are launching on a lifeguarded beach, make sure you launch and recover between the black and white chequered flags. There should be less swimmers in this area, giving you more room to manoeuvre. 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. You might be tempted to just buy a board and head out. Having a few training sessions can teach you the right technique, so it’s more stand-up and less fall-in paddleboarding!