Video: Windsurfers rescued by lifeboat crew

Police outside student accommodation in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth on Friday Picture Ben Fishwick

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TWO brothers were rescued by a lifeboat crew after getting into difficulties windsurfing in cold waters.

Rescuers at the RNLI Station in Eastney were training at their base in Ferry Road yesterday afternoon when crew member Euan Welsh spotted a windsurfer through his binoculars.

After the windsurfer did not raise his sail for five minutes, Mr Welsh sounded the alarm.

The crew sent one of their smaller boats to investigate, and found the two brothers, aged 20 and 23, suffering from severe hypothermia.

The lifeboat helmsman, Dan Whittaker, said: ‘If they hadn’t been spotted, they probably wouldn’t have survived.

‘It was a good spot by my colleague. I was very worried about their condition when we found them.

‘They were suffering quite badly from the effects of the cold.

‘The wind was also dragging them further out to sea. It was a close call.’

The crew took the pair to the seafront at Hayling Island where they were met by waiting ambulances.

Paramedics were able to raise their body temperatures after half an hour.

The pair were allowed to continue home once they had recovered.

The lifeboat crew then launched their larger Atlantic-class lifeboat to recover the windsurfing equipment which was still in the water.