Cleethorpes dog walker raises alarm to help save kite surfers in the Humber
A DOG walker in Cleethorpes has been praised for raising the alarm which led to the rescue of two kite surfers.
Both men were plucked from the freezing waters of the mouth of the River Humber thanks to the call from an unidentified woman shortly after 11.15am on Saturday.
She gave a precise grid reference to Humber Coastguard rescuers, which speeded up their response to the alert.
The men, both believed to be in their 40s, one from Aldborough and the other from the Sheffield area, got into difficulties as a snow squall blew in from the sea.
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One of the men became tangled in the kite as the water became choppy. His companion tried to assist him and they both got into difficulties.
A third man swam from the shore to try to help in the rescue, near to Bull Fort, a Humber Coastguard spokesman said.
The coastguard officer said he did not know how the woman caller was able to give the precise grid reference, but it enabled the Humber Coastguard boat to get to the scene quicker.
"We expect she was using an electronic device of some sort and it was very useful to us. She was definitely switched on and helped a lot.
"The water was shallow at that point so we called on the Cleethorpes Lifeboat crew, who helped bring the three people to shore. They did not require medical treatment.
"Kite surfing is clearly exhilarating, but needs to be done in a group with someone ashore to keep a watch on everyone. Luckily, on this occasion, there was a lady walking her dog nearby."
The spokesman advised no one should enter the water to attempt such a rescue.
"There have been numerous occasions when the would-be rescuer also ended up in trouble and needed rescuing, too."
Photographer Vernon Suddaby was walking along the shore at Humberston when he saw the drama unfold.
He said: "When I saw the conditions I thought it would be good for photographs. When I saw the coastguard vessel I started taking pictures.
"Even though I was a mile away I could see the two men pop into the lifeboat."
Cleethorpes lifeboat helmsman Ian Sanderson said: "The wind was gusting at about 25mph and it was very cold. During the snow squall it was getting like -4C and even colder in the water."
He praised fellow volunteers crew members, Glenn Petersen, Steven Austin and Martin Kennedy.
Are you one of the kitesurfers? If so, we would love to hear from you - maybe you would like to thank the woman who raised the alarm?
Call the newsdesk on 01472 372236.