Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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By Waveflyer
#1746039
IMCR

We are obviously unlikely to agree on the level of danger we expect our emergency volunteers to face. Some exposure to danger at sea is inevitable, the weather changes, breakdowns, illness etc. When somebody goes out on a surf board in the conditions we saw, I think a huge number of people would regard that as more than a little unwise and even unacceptable.

I would like to make a few more points. Firstly, all of the advice was, please stay out of the bad conditions unless you have to go out, all of the essential services are expecting to be busy.

Secondly. We saw the lifeboat laying over in heavy seas. If the crew had come across the victim in those conditions they would probably have gone out on deck to attempt a rescue.

You are welcome to describe how they would have managed to hang on and prevent self injury, being wash overboard or jumping overboard to help the victim.

Third. If a “real” emergency call came in that very valuable asset would not be available for the wrong reasons.

IMHO fun junkies are asking too much.
By Chris Martyr
#1746056
IMCR wrote: but I would hope there is room for different opinions..


In which case , I would suggest that you go and poll the ‘opinions’ of the crew of the Hastings lifeboat !

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and see if they differ from the ‘ opinions’ of the guys on the SAR chopper .

My ‘opinion’ of this bloke is that he’s a moron who should be kneecapped . But that’s only me ... :D
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By Sooty25
#1746085
If you discuss the £100 burger run with an environmentalist, everybody here is a moron.

If you walked into Hastings Lifeboat station on a sunny summers evening as said "right, who wants to jump in the front seat of my cloth covered biplane and do a few inverted flat spins", most of those brave heros will hide in their lockers.

The reckless idiot surfer that jumped into a freezing, raging sea was that stupid and incompetent, that he swam with the tide and got ashore by himself. Clearly rather fit and fully aware of what he was doing.

My point is, we are all someones idiot, even the crew that launched were mad in someones eyes. We all fear the unknown or what we don't understand, but we should accept others do know and understand what we don't.
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By Waveflyer
#1746101
Sooty25

The risk our “hero” exposed himself to is totally irrelevant.

The discussion is all about what the rescue services did and had to do because of his thoughtless selfish and needless actions.

It is patronising me for any body to suggest the crews go out joyfully to rescue these individuals. I know they would rather that people behaved reasonably and they used their skills and nine lives to rescue those who were facing unintended danger.
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By Waveflyer
#1746106
seanxair wrote:Wonder who called them?

Probably somebody who had reasonable cause to suspect life was in imminent danger.

Edit. Wonder what Sooty and IMCR would have done :scratch:
Last edited by Waveflyer on Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By seanxair
#1746109
Waveflyer wrote:
seanxair wrote:Wonder who called them?

Probably somebody who had reasonable cause to suspect life was in imminent danger.


Would have been a good spot in those conditions
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By mmcp42
#1746111
seanxair wrote:Wonder who called them?

?overdue action? by nearest/dearest?
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By Sooty25
#1746113
It would actually be interesting to have interviewed the crew, individually and off the record, to get their take on the shout as a whole.

I wouldn't mind betting the consensus would be "boat performed well, a bit rough, bloke got himself ashore". No high drama. Other boats were out playing (sorry, training) in in that weather.

Crew don't see themselves as heros, they are doing something they have trained for, with kit they have total faith in. No boat is forced to launch, no crewman is forced to go. Until you've stood with your face to a gale making that choice, you just won't understand.
By Stu B
#1746140
I heard a guy from the lifeboat crew being interviewed on R4, and he said pretty much exactly what Sooty said above - despite the R4 interviewer trying quite hard to get him to criticise the surfer. Of course, one cannot be sure of the balance between his personal view and a very self-disciplined operator following any RNLI PR "party line" on such statements (and I say that without any personal suspicion as to where in fact that balance might have sat).
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By VRB_20kt
#1746141
Am I missing something here? I thought that the whole point of surfing was to take on sea conditions that most of us would not go near. Surfing on tiddlers is OK, but to ride big waves must be amazing. Yet those same big waves are not friendly at all to most rescue craft.

In an ideal world I guess surfing would be in less stormy conditions and on ocean-swell waves.
By IMCR
#1746147
For one moment apply some surfing logic.

The concern is that the conditions in which the surfer chose to surf placed the lifeboat crew at risk.

I guess had the wind been less, we wouldn’t be getting so excited. After all surfing is about waves, and, indeed, sometimes big waves. Even in Cornwall you will see surfers in 30-foot waves, and the waves were nowhere that big. We all know that, don’t we?

Now waves and boats are not happy bed fellas. Any coxswain or skipper will know to avoid breaking surf if they can, and, any boat will roll violently broadside to even very small waves. So, take away the wind, and the boat will still roll in surf. In fact, it will roll in even moderate surf. In 30-foot surf it will roll inverted and dramatically. If you don’t believe me Google boats entering and leaving harbour in surf conditions – there are plenty there.

Therefore, in many ways, inshore surf is not the place for any boat, including a lifeboat, in any conditions with surfing waves of more than about 10 feet, and in the case of smaller, less stable vessels, a lot less. You very definitely do not want to be anything close to a wave broadside. Also, the. Chances of recovering a surfer in waves I would put a little less than nil, and a little better than impossible. There is a very good chance you will kill the person, assuming you could even get close enough to get a line to them. I very much doubt any coxswain would attempt to rescue a surfer in a big surf line.

So, the point is, in any good (and I mean what we would all happily accept are sensible conditions for a surfer I would hope), any boat will not do well.

In the conditions over the weekend the key is whether the conditions were sufficiently extreme, given the surfers ability, that surfing was an unreasonable risk for him. (and potentially the wisdom of surfing alone). I doubt very much the surfer would have expected a lifeboat to need to rescue him in the surf line, because most surfers recognise in the surf line they are on their own, and will either need to paddle out beyond the break, or get themselves into shore.

Now, contrary to what you may imagine, a surf board is a very stable platform. You will see surfers on their boards just beyond the break line bobbing up and down for hours waiting for the right wave. In a winter wet suite, you will literally be comfortable and warm for hours. I was out surfing on a motorised board just a couple of weeks ago and got too hot.

In rough conditions off a pebble beach the concern is far more landing back on the beach where you can easily get dumped for a very hard landing.

The lifeboat returned to Eastbourne Sovereign Harbour, not Hastings, so motored a very good distance down the coast. Whether in the hope of finding the surfer, or because the entrance to the marina was better, I don’t know.

Personally, I doubt the conditions would have resulted in an especially good wave, but what do I know, I don’t know the break at Hastings.

I do suspect that there may be a few who have very little idea about surfing, what conditions it is safe to surf in, and how you might expect to interact with the rescue services should the need arise.

Anyway, it is just another perspective and opinion as I have said, as hopefully sometimes some background is useful before we are judgemental. If you think the guy was nuts then you are entitled to your opinion, but I would hope it is based on some knowledge of surfing, surf, and inshore rescues, than the sensationalist reports in the press.
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By PeteSpencer
#1746154
For a balanced and rational, unemotional view of the work the RNLI does I commend the BBC TV series currently airing: 'Saving Lives at Sea'.

I guess it's on iPlayer too:

Many lifeboatmen all round the country are interviewed with Helmet Cam footage of their work.

Their restraint, when going through a rescue afterwards on camera, when clearly some of the victims are utter twits, is commendable.

Peter
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