Two SUP rescues from 2020, in Wales UK and Ireland, highlight the importance of staying on your SUP board and waiting for assistance.   

Wearing a leash at all times is also critical so you don’t become separated from your board. 

Ireland, August 2020. Furbo Beach on the northern shore of Galway Bay. Two female paddlers were lost at sea for 15 hours, and drifted 17 nautical miles from their original location, before they were found.  They were wearing buoyancy aids and were sitting on their boards, holding onto a float attached to a lobster pot. They waved their paddles to attract the attention of passing fishermen who managed to rescue the pair. They were exhausted and weak but were also delighted to have been found. 

Sea temperatures were about 15 degrees and if they had not been on their boards, but in the water, it would have been potentially fatal for the paddlers.  

Wales UK, August 2020.  A teenager was paddling off the coast of Aberdaron in Gwyneed when strong sea currents carried him out to sea. He was in the water for about 40 minutes before the coastguard reached him.

He was extremely cold with indications of hypothermia setting in. He was winched to safety and immediately taken to hospital. The following day he was able to leave the hospital. He was very lucky the coast guard got to him quickly.  

He was wearing a buoyancy aid but it appeared he left his board in an attempt to swim to shore but got carried out to sea. It is not known if he was wearing a leash. 

If you find yourself out to sea and in trouble – the most important thing to do is STAY ON YOUR BOARD. 

WEAR A LEASH, so you don’t become separated from your board.  

Wearing a buoyancy aid will not help if you are in the water for a period of time as you are likely to get potentially life-threatening hypothermia. 

Stay safe. Be aware at all times so you do not get into a situation where you are putting yourself in danger. 

Here are the news articles in full:

How the Missing Galway Bay Paddleboarders Were Found by Fishermen
14th August 2020, by Lorna Siggins

Teenager pulled from sea in ‘serious’ condition spent more than 40 minutes in water
11 AUG 2020 by Owen Evans

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