East Lothian news: North Berwick RNLI sent out to rescue paddleboarder struggling in near gale force winds

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A paddleboarder was spotted struggling in waters near Musselburgh as the sun set.

Two local lifeboat crews were sent out to rescue the individual. The North Berwick and Kinghorn RNLI teams were alerted to a paddleboarder struggling in near gale force winds off Musselburgh, as the light was fading at 5.17pm on Sunday, February 19. Both lifeboats launched and searched the nearby waters. However, they were stood down, after the person was found safe and well onshore.

Over the last 10 years, the RNLI has saved the lives of 59 paddleboarders. In 2021, 42 people were rescued by the charity after getting in trouble while paddleboarding, kayaking and canoeing.

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The hobby has grown increasingly popular in the past few years, so the RNLI has issued safety advice to help paddleboarders stay safe in the water. Samantha Hughes of the RNLI’s Water Safety team said: "Paddleboarding, kayaking and canoeing are all extremely popular, especially during the summer months, and the RNLI has seen a large increase in our lifeboats and beach lifeguards going to the aid of people involved in these kinds of activities over the past few years.“That’s why it’s important to be aware of some simple safety advice which could save your life. If you are heading out on the water, we would always advise you to wear a suitable personal flotation device for your activity. If you are on a paddleboard, choose the right releasable leash for the location you are paddling. Always check the weather forecast and tide times as this can affect your paddling and always tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back.“Keep a means of calling for help attached to you in a waterproof pouch or close to hand so that in an emergency you can call 999 and ask for the Coastguard if at the coast or the Fire Service if inland. If you get into trouble in the water, remember to Float to Live: lean back, using your arms and legs to stay afloat. Control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety.”

In any coastal emergency, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.