Lifeguards rescue struggling paddleboarders off Fife beach

Elie Harbour lifeguards rescued two stand-up paddleboarders who were struggling in off-shore winds.

Friday, 16th July 2021, 3:30 pm
Two similar incidents have happened this month. Pic: RNLI/Elie Harbour Lifeguards.
Two similar incidents have happened this month. Pic: RNLI/Elie Harbour Lifeguards.

While monitoring the busy harbour beach, lifeguard, Jake Muir spotted two young girls who were in obvious difficulty, attempting to return to shore in a strengthening off-shore wind.

Jake entered the water with his rescue board and quickly made his way towards the casualties. On arrival both were in the water and struggling to return to their board. After briefing them to stay low to avoid acting like a sail in the wind, Jake returned them safely to the beach.

Jake said: “I was really pleased to see that the mother of one of the girls, who was also paddleboarding, did not try to rescue them herself. Instead she returned to shore to seek our assistance. Rescuing two casualties is certainly a lot easier than rescuing three.”

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This rescue follows a very similar incident on Friday, July 2, when fellow lifeguard, Owen McQueenie, helped two paddleboarders drifting out of the bay, seemingly unaware that the strong off-shore winds would make it difficult for them to get back to the beach.

As with any water sport there are inherent dangers to be aware of before venturing out on the water and, in particular, off-shore winds pose a significant risk when paddleboarding.

RNLI advice for less experienced paddleboarders is to only venture out when the wind is blowing on-shore and to paddle parallel to the beach.

If you spot someone in difficulty on the coast, resist the urge to enter the water to help, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. On a lifeguard patrolled beach, alert the lifeguards.