Tag Archive for: helicopter

On Sunday I was having a coffee with Alec before he left for
the UK. 

 Sunday 050410 063

Alec is a Cornishman who, back in the day, surfed a 14ft
wooden long-board, when long-boards were the fashion and not because of the
retro calling for them.  Alec loves
diving and has made great strides in his progression from being a non-diver to
being able to dive at 18 meters, controlling his buoyancy.  He comes to Lanzarote and Calypso Diving in
particular whenever the urge to submerge overcomes his spirit.

After the coffee, we took the air, which was blowing hard
and we watched the surfers for a while. 

Sunday 050410 024

The wind was pretty strong and the sea was rough.

 Sunday 050410 007

Alec noticed that one surfer was not doing too well.  I did not see what the problem was. 

Sunday 050410 065

Then I saw the lifeguards running towards and passed
us.  I gave chase on my cycle following
them around the coast line past the lagoon with the breakwater and around to
the next beach. 

Sunday 050410 074

I followed them onto some outlying rocks and could see the
same windsurfer sitting astride his board. 
He looked exhausted.

Sunday 050410 073
Sunday 050410 075

The lifeguards and local police, who had arrived on the
scene, were remonstrating for the windsurfer to steer into an inlet to the
sandy beach between the rocks.

The guy could do nothing.

Sunday 050410 087

The lifeguards radioed for a helicopter.  Moments later the helicopter came.

Sunday 050410 100

They dropped a rescuer into the water before winching both
the victim and rescuer up to safety.

Sunday 050410 119

A lifeboat was also scrambled from Arrecife, which
attended to retrieve the windsurf board and sail.

Sunday 050410 146

Back on dry land the man was offered an Ambulance but
refused.  His details were taken by the
local police and ambulance service before he walked off with friends.

Sunday 050410 143
The helicopter flew back to base.

The lifeguard gave a statement to me saying the victim is a
local man with many years experience as a surfer, but he was not able to
confirm the reason for the accident.

I stopped in at the surf rental shop on the beach and
enquired there.  I was told that the
reason the man could not steer was because his sail had lost tension.  Windsurf sails are tensioned at two
points.  One point is referred to as the
'outhaul' which attached to a grommet at the 'clew'(the rear corner to which
the boom is attached).  In this guys
case, his outhaul had snapped and he was spilling wind, unable to steer.

The reason so many resources were thrown at the rescue is
because had the windsurfer been blown any further down the coast he could very
well have been swept out to sea and toward Africa.

Nothing but drama on what is sometimes referred to as ‘The
Devil’s Island’.