Paddleboarder blown almost a mile out to sea

There was drama off Saunton beach today when a paddleboarder was blown almost a mile out to sea.

Following several 999 calls, the volunteer RNLI crew from Appledore was paged at 10.45am to assist a female paddleboarder in trouble at the north end of Saunton beach.

When the coastguard was first notified, the woman was about 200 yards from the beach, but by the time the lifeboat reached her 15 minutes later she had been blown up to three quarters of a mile out to sea by an easterly wind and ebbing tide.

As the wind picked up she was dragged out further at a quickening rate.

She was picked up in a cold, exhausted and frightened state by the inshore lifeboat and returned to her partner and waiting coastguards on the beach.

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A spokesperson for RNLI Appledore lifeboat station said: “All ended well, but the outcome could have been far worse. Please use an RNLI lifeguarded beach where the lifeguards have the training and equipment to get to you quicker than a lifeboat can. Currently in North Devon these are Croyde and Woolacombe.”

If you see anyone in difficulty on or by the water, please dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

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