Lifeboat crew volunteers launched a rescue last night after spotting a jetski heading to France with nobody on it last night.
The Brighton RNLI volunteer crew were on a training exercise when they saw the unmanned jet ski travelling south.
The crew cut the engine after confirming no one was onboard and set out to find the driver.
They soon found a conscious man, wearing a buoyancy aid. He had come off the jet ski at 40mph.
He was taken back to the lifeboat station in Brighton Marina and assessed. He was also given some safety advice for future, which included always wearing a kill cord and having a means of calling for help on you.
The kill cord is designed to cut out a boat engine in case the driver goes overboard.
Lifeboat Operations Manager Roger Cohen MBE said the man had a “lucky escape with some minor bruising”.
Roger added: “This is exactly what we train for and I’m proud of the team recognising that there was something amiss with the jet ski and quickly finding the rider.
“This incident highlights the importance of a fully operational kill cord being on board a watercraft and used correctly.
“The RNLI recommend that before any watercrafts that are equipped with a kill cord are taken to sea, the operator should deliberately operate the kill cord to confirm it is operating correctly.”
Here are the RNLI’s key safety messages when using any personal watercraft:
- Always wear a personal flotation device
- Stay with your craft in an emergency, it will keep you afloat and easy to locate
- Make sure you are also wearing suitable clothing for the forecasted conditions. Always carry a means of calling for help on your person
- You must be able to reach it easily in an emergency. If it can’t be reached, it’s no help
- Develop your skills. Contact your national governing body, club or watersports activity centre to find out which training is best for your needs
- Tell someone else where you’re going and when you’ll be back. They can raise the alarm with the coastguard by calling 999 or 112 if you are overdue
- Always check the forecast and tide times. Don’t get caught out by the conditions
- Ensure you have enough fuel for your journey
- Always check your equipment. In particular, make sure the drainage plug is in place. Always wear a kill cord if fitted and carry a spare
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