Mum and eight-year-old son rescued off Sunderland coast after inflatable paddleboard is blown out to sea

A mum and son were brought back to safety by a rescue team after they were blown out to sea on their inflatable stand-up paddleboard.

Thursday, 8th August 2019, 18:16 pm
Updated Friday, 9th August 2019, 09:11 am
The RNLI team went to the rescue of the woman and her boy. Photo by RNLI.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeguards rescued a mother and her eight-year-old son yesterday, Wednesday, August 7, at Seaburn beach.

An offshore wind had blown them 400 metres out to sea, and they were struggling to get back.

The charity’s lifeguards Adam Blenkinsop and Andrew Brown were in the sea training when they were tasked at around 12.20pm.

As they were already in the water, fellow lifeguard Joe Wilson at Whitburn asked them to attend as they were near the scene.

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The lifeguards launched their Rescue Water Craft (RWC) while their colleague Tom Hughes paddled out with a rescue board.

The casualties were recovered onto the RWC and taken ashore, with the lifeguards securing the inflatable to bring it back in.

After receiving a casualty care check at the lifeguard unit at Seaburn, the mother and child were given the all-clear and given some sea safety tips.

Adam said: “Owing to our swift response, we were able to rescue the mother and her son before they drifted further out to sea into danger.

“Inflatables look like great fun but they can be very deceptive as if an off-shore wind takes hold, the craft can be carried far out to sea.

“We had the orange sock flying yesterday which indicates an off-shore or strong wind and no inflatables.

“We’d always advise people to respect the water by observing safety flags and visiting a lifeguarded beach.”

The RNLI advises that blow-up toys and inflatables are designed for pools, not the sea where they can easily be swept out.

If people do use them at the beach, then they are advised to ensure children are closely supervised; they keep near the shore; only use them between the red and yellow beach flags; follow the lifeguards’ advice; not take inflatables out in big waves; never use them when the orange windsock is flying, as this indicates offshore winds and if you do get into difficulty, then stay with the inflatable as it will keep you above the water.

For more information and safety tips visit: www.RNLI.org/RespectTheWater.