Surfer's 'thank you' message to lifeboat crew who saved his life

A lucky surfer has thanked the RNLI lifeboat crew who saved his life when he was swept out to sea.

Friday, 28th August 2020, 9:06 am

The man – named only as Paul – wrote to the Craster Lifeboat Station RNLI’s Facebook page after being plucked from the North Sea on Wednesday, August 26.

The lifeboat launched at 2.45pm after reports of a person in difficulty in the sea off Embleton beach.

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Crews spotted an abandoned surf board half a mile off shore before finding Paul 500 metres to the north east, attempting to stay afloat on his back.

Crew member Andy Cowan entered the water, grabbed him and kept his head above the water – the first time in 50 years a crew member from Craster has entered the water to perform a rescue.

Paul told the crew he had tried for 45 minutes to swim back to the shore before deciding to employ the 'Float to Live' technique, floating on his back.

The Craster lifeboat. Pic: Andy Cowan Craster RNLI

His message, which was shared on the station’s Facebook page by the team, said: “I was the unlucky one that was pulled out to sea at Embleton yesterday and knew there was a good chance my life could be over .

“I ended up being the lucky one pulled from the sea and given a second chance at life.

“A few hours surfing fun almost turned into to the last few hours of my life. The pull and tide was so powerful and I gave it my all to try and swim to shore.

“I could feel the sea going under me and pushing me further and further out.

“I prayed that someone on the beach saw me. Whoever you are, thank you from the bottom of my heart .

“To Andy and two other courageous, selfless and modest heroes of Craster RNLI who appeared out of nowhere and pulled me to the safety of the lifeboat, the right words are hard to find .

“You came at a moment when I was fearing the worst.

“THANK YOU so much for saving my life and the lives of so many others before me.”

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