A rescue video has been released by RNLI lifeguards after they picked up a kitesurfer struggling to stay afloat at Exmouth.
The release of the video coincides with the sea safety charity warning kitesurfing novices to stay away from Exmouth seafront because of the strong currents.
The RNLI said ‘large numbers’ of kitesurfers had been taking to the water at Exmouth in recent weeks, and lifeguards had dealt with ‘numerous’ rescues and near-misses.
Henry Irvine, RNLI lead lifeguard supervisor in East Devon, said: “If you’re thinking of going kitesurfing please ensure you keep well clear of other water users while out kitesurfing, and when setting up and packing down on the beach please do this well away from other beach users such as families.
“Never go out alone, take a means of calling or signalling for help, know your own abilities and equip yourself with the skills to self-rescue should this be required.
“Exmouth seafront is not a good location for beginners due to the strong currents and obstructions.”
The RNLI lifeguards rescued a young woman last week when they spotted her kite being pushed rapidly towards Maer Rocks by a strong westerly wind and current.
Lifeguard Dom Brown immediately launched the rescue watercraft.
When he reached the kitesurfer, she was struggling to stay afloat and could not release herself from her equipment, the RNLI said.
Dom threw the woman a floatation device and returned to pick up lifeguard Jake Butt to assist as crew on the rescue watercraft.
Jake, a keen kitesurfer, went into the water and freed the woman from her equipment, helped her safely back to shore and recovered her gear.
The young woman was the second kitesurfer to be rescued by RNLI lifeguards within a space of half an hour, the charity said.