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The volunteer crew of Littlehampton RNLI rescued a 14-year-old paddleboarder in difficulty half a mile off the coast of Littlehampton West Beach

Littlehampton RNLI’s Renee Sherman lifeboat was launched at 4.27pm on Thursday after being alerted that the male casualty was having trouble getting back to the beach. There was an offshore wind and the paddleboarder was not wearing a lifejacket.

The crew quickly spotted the paddleboarder and took him safely aboard Renee Sherman. The casualty was assessed, but did not need medical treatment, so was taken back to the beach with his paddleboard so that he could be reunited with his family.

Stand-up paddleboarding is one of the fastest growing watersports. Whether you are a complete beginner or more experienced, it’s always useful to know a few safety tips to make the most of your paddleboarding experience:

  • If you can, always go with a friend
  • If you are going out alone, always tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back
  • Check the weather forecast and tide times before you set out
  • Avoid offshore winds
  • Wear a suitable personal flotation device
  • Wear suitable clothing for the time of year
  • Get the appropriate level of training.

Paul Caldecott, Littlehampton RNLI Deputy Launching Authority, said: ‘Paddleboarding is a great way to have fun on the water and to get fit. But no matter how calm the tides may seem or how experienced you are, it can be very easy to get into difficulties. Taking a few minutes to understand the risks could save your life.’

For the RNLI’s paddleboarding safety tips – and safety advice for a broad range of water activities – visit rnli.org/safety.

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