Caught out: an RNLI rescue story

In June 2021, experienced paddleboarder Zoe Williams found herself in trouble when SUPing off Trefor in Wales. Here, she shares her experience …

“I saw my partner had returned to the shore. I wasn’t too far behind him, but the wind turned. It didn’t matter how much I paddled, the tide was against me. I was being pulled further away. I realised I wouldn’t be able to return to shore on my own.”

Luckily, Zoe had taken her mobile phone with her in a waterproof pouch around her neck that day. Calling 999, she got through to Holyhead Coastguard who stayed with her on the phone until the RNLI lifeboat arrived. “In the meantime, I had drifted a mile and half from the shore and the waves were getting bigger. They saved my life – and for that I am extremely grateful. I want to help raise awareness of the importance of wearing a lifejacket when going out on the water. The sea is unpredictable and situations can change in a split second.”