Storm Ciara: Dramatic video shows lifeboat almost capsizing in search for ‘idiot’ surfer

A lifeboat almost capsized during a rescue mission to save an “idiot” surfer as Storm Ciara raged on Sunday.

The man had to be rescued from rough seas off the coast of Hastings, East Sussex, after losing his board.

Britain was battered by 90mph winds on Sunday as Storm Ciara caused heavy rainfall and flooding and led to widespread rail and air cancellations, while more than 20,000 homes lost their electricity.

A member of the public posted dramatic footage of an RNLI lifeboat on its way to save the surfer.

In the video, posted on Twitter by Paul Hogg, the boat almost topples over after being hit by a strong wave.

An RNLI boat going to sea off the coast of Hastings to search for a missing surfer, who was later found safe (Picture: PA)

Mr Hogg wrote: “Brave boys from @RNLI off out to rescue some idiot surfer off Hastings in #StormCiara. Come home safe boys”.

Rescue teams from HM Coastguard and the RNLI were involved in the search for the surfer, including the Coastguard helicopter.

He was later found in Rye Bay and was conscious.

A Coastguard helicopter off the coast of Hastings searching for a missing surfer, who was later found safe (Picture: PA)

Hastings Lifeboat later tweeted: “After a dramatic video has been posted most of you know hat we’ve been #outonashout but we’re happy to report that we’re all safe, well and uninjured and the boat is undamaged and safely berthed next to @rnliEastbourne.

“We’re on our way back to #Hastings now.”

Another Twitter user posted a video of the surfer washing up on the shore and being swept along by a large wave. Richard Connolly wrote: “This is the surfer when he lost his board and it went from bad to worse for him.

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“He even refused help from standers by. He could have prevented this whole scene with the rescuers.”

The RNLI tweeted: “Incredible @Hastingsrnli footage captured today by a member of public.

“Everyone onboard is safe and well. Casualty made it to shore.

“Thanks to your support our lifeboat crew receive the best training and lifeboats, to withstand these types of conditions.”

In a separate incident on Sunday, a lifeboat was called out to a false alarm at Margate, Kent, when an object in the water turned out to be a seal.

An RNLI lifeboat crew ventured out into storm force weather after a member of the public reported a black object in the sea.

Nick Smith, deputy launching authority for Margate Lifeboat, said the "atrocious weather conditions" meant there was "real concern".

However, when a seal was spotted in the water it became apparent the call was a false alarm and the RNLI lifeboat returned to station.

Smith said: "We would like to thank those who called the coastguard.

“We are always prepared to investigate what could be a false alarm rather than assume as such and delay response to a genuine distress situation.

"If anyone sees anything suspicious at sea or on the coastline dial 999 and ask for coastguard."