The sailor capsized in strong winds off Christchurch in Dorset when he was spotted by the off-duty RNLI lifeguard, who used his kitesurfing equipment to bring the man to shore.

The sailor was competing in a sailing event in Christchurch, Dorset when his one-man sailing boat capsized, throwing him into the water.

The incident was witnessed by off-duty RNLI lifeguard, Casey Burges, who was kitesurfing from Highcliffe Beach.

The qualified kitesurfing instructor said he knew that whoever was on board would now be taken out to sea and he had to act immediately.

Using his kite, Burges travelled over to the capsized boat. He spent five minutes searching for the sailor before finding the man fully conscious but very tired.

Immediately ditching his board in the water, Burges instructed the man to hold onto the back of his harness and, for ten minutes, used his kite to transport the two of them back to safety.

“I was just really lucky to be there and able to help out,” said Burges, who works as an RNLI lifeguard at Boscombe.

“It was great to put the RNLI training into practice and make a difference to someone,” he added.

Burges also revealed that his mother even helped out with the rescue.

“Mum was on the beach that day too so she looked after the man and gave him a lift back to the sailing club while I let everyone looking for him know that he was safe. She was really brilliant,” added Burges.

Lifeguard supervisor for Boscombe, Mike Winter praised the actions of one of his team.

“What Casey did was extremely brave and he did a brilliant job – and to save a life using just kite-surfing equipment is nothing short of spectacular!” said Winter.

The rescue happened last week but was only reported on 12 September.