Hayling RNLI lifeboat on a wildlife hunt
Hayling Lifeboat was called out to look for an inflatable Unicorn but found a flamingo instead and several others in distress!
On a hot weekend in July with an offshore wind blowing, a person on an inflatable unicorn was reported as being blown out to sea. The Atlantic 85 was launched but en-route they came upon a large pink inflatable flamingo. No one was found in the vicinity of it however.
Resuming the search the crew found two persons trying to paddle their dinghy back to the shore against the wind. They were taken on board and they told the crew that two friends had capsized their kayak and that one of them couldn’t swim! He was found clinging to a yellow buoy whilst the other kayaker had swum ashore. We rescued him and he joined the two from the dinghy together with the flamingo! The three casualties were OK so they were taken ashore.
The search for the unicorn resumed and eventually involved the second Hayling Lifeboat, the Portsmouth Lifeboat and the Search & Rescue Helicopter (pictured) but searched in vain.
The RNLI advice is not to use inflatable boats/toys with an offshore wind and/or ebbing tide nor on a beach without lifeguards.