Seahouses Lifeboat was called this morning to search for a missing kite surfer, just as the Duke of Kent arrived on a visit to the Lifeboat Station.
The crews’ pagers went off as Humber Coastguard requested both Lifeboats to launch to search for a missing Kite Surfer off the coast of Beadnell.
The Duke witnessed first hand the Mersey Class Lifeboat ‘Grace Darling’ and the Inshore D Class Lifeboat ‘Peter Downes’ being rapidly taken to the launching slip by the volunteer crew who had assembled in minutes. At the slipway as the boats were turning to enter the water, Humber Coastguard cancelled the launch, as the kite surfer had been found safely ashore, and was being checked on by shore-based Coastguard Officers from Seahouses.
Both Lifeboats returned to station and the Duke was able to meet and chat with the crew as well as the station souvenir shop volunteer. He then went aboard the Mersey Class Lifeboat with the Coxswain/Mechanic John Hanvey, who gave him a guided tour. RNLI Operations Director George Rawlinson and other officials were also present.
Lifeboat Operations Manager Ian Clayton said: “I think some thought we had stage-managed the call out, but it could not have been better timed for the benefit of our royal visitor! Thankfully the kite surfer was safe, and the Duke was able to see the station and crew in action.”