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Paraglider pilot rescued by lifeboat after landing in the sea

Thursday 2 June, 2016

Dramatic footage of the moment a paraglider pilot was rescued from the sea has been released by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in Wales.

It shows a lifeboatman, identified only as Sam, swimming towards an unnamed pilot who is clinging to rocks after landing in the sea earlier this season.

The incident happened on Sunday 15 May 2016, and involved an inshore rescue boat.

The RNLI reported: “Whilst returning from the rescue of an inflatable, the RNLI Arancia inshore rescue boat was tasked by the coastguard to go and assist a paraglider who was believed to have collided with the cliffs and crashed into the sea.

“The volunteers on board the Arancia quickly headed back out to sea, whilst the stations larger RNLI Atlantic 85 lifeboat Spirit of Friendship was launched to assist in the search and rescue.

“The paraglider pilot’s flying partner had seen his friend disappear and quickly landed on top of the cliffs, raising the alarm by calling 999 when he could only see his friend’s paraglider in the sea.

“Both lifeboats searched along the cliffs and soon spotted the casualty clinging onto the cliffs, whilst still attached to his paraglider. The canopy was filling with water in the sea and being dragged by the tide, pulling on the casualty’s body.

“In quite a rocky area, the Arancia was able to make its way close to the casualty and took aboard the canopy allowing the casualty to remove himself from the equipment.

“A crew member entered the water and carried out a first aid assessment of the casualty who had managed to land in the water and miss both the cliffs and surrounding rocks without injury but who was very cold after being in the sea.

“The casualty was put into a lifejacket by the crewman who also provided protection against the waves and ensured the casualty was safe whilst the Arancia manoeuvred into position at the base of the cliffs to safely extract everyone.

“The casualty was transferred to the Atlantic 85, where he was given another first aid assessment and put into to equipment to keep him warm.

“Both lifeboats returned to the RNLI station where the casualty was warmed up and able to get dry whilst being assessed by waiting Ambulance staff. Although cold and shaken he did not need to go to hospital and was picked up by friend who was relieved to see him safe and well.”

Video credit: RNLI

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