RNLI lifeboat volunteers were called to back-to-back rescues involving paddle boarders yesterday.

In the first of two incidents, the UK Coastguard requested both of Swanage’s lifeboats after ‘999’ calls reported a paddle-boarder being blown out to sea from Studland’s south beach on Thursday, July 30. 

The lifeboats launched into a stiff southwesterly breeze and quickly headed around Old Harry into the Studland area to begin the search. 

The inshore lifeboat (ILB) and all-weather lifeboat (ALB) began different search patterns in an attempt to predict where the paddle-boarder could have been. 

The UK coastguard were able to pass a mobile phone number to the ALB and communications were established. 

At first the paddle boarder reported that the lifeboat was heading towards him, but a little later reported the boat was now heading away - neither lifeboats had seen anything at this point. 

The ALB then fired a white flare, asking the casualty to describe the flare’s position in relation to Old Harry. 

This information, along with some photographs taken by the casualty, narrowed down the location a little and the ILB headed down-wind. 

Roughly 30 minutes after launching, the ILB spotted the paddle-boarder and transferred him to the warmth of the ALB for a quick checkover.

The paddle-board and its owner were taken back to Studland where they were met by coastguard volunteers and family. 

The paddle-boarder had drifted more than 2.5nm offshore. 

A second rescue call came in ... 

As the Swanage volunteers were returning from the shout another call came in from the UK coastguard asking for both boats to return to Studland. 

In a similar sounding incident the boats were asked to locate and assist two paddle boards with 3 people on them, including a child, reported to have drifted offshore from Studland’s north beach. 

The report suggested that the two boards had drifted significantly and, with the recent experience of hunting for a lone paddleboard in mind, both boats turned back towards and around Old Harry. 

This time the inshore lifeboat (ILB) began searching northwards from middle beach towards the chain ferry, while the all-weather lifeboat (ALB) stepped just outside the training bank to search an area further northeast.

As these searches got underway the UK coastguard were informed that the two boards had made it safely ashore by themselves and both boats could, for the second time, return to Swanage. 

Both lifeboats made it back to their base by 4.22pm.