View as PDF

Emergency crews discuss Sully Island safety

Lifeboats News Release

It was all hands on deck at a recent multi agency meeting aimed at reducing incidents at Sully Island.

The round table discussion, hosted by the Penarth RNLI, was attended by South Wales Fire and Rescue service, Maritime & Coastguard Agency, National Police Air Service, National Coastwatch Institution and the RNLI's Community Safety team.

Many of Penarth RNLI and Barry Dock RNLI's call-outs are to people cut off by the tide at Sully Island, where the causeway allows people to walk across to the island at lower tides but becomes cut off when the tide comes in and covers the causeway.

Just last week (Tuesday 5 April) Penarth RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crew rescued five people and their three dogs who had become cut off on the island by the incoming tide.

Jason Dunlop, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Penarth RNLI, said: 'This was a positive meeting which identified tangible opportunities to work more closely together with a common goal of risk reduction.'

Nicola Davies, RNLI Community Incident Reduction Manager, said: 'The tide at Sully Island can move very quickly and can catch people unaware.

'The causeway to the island is open three hours before low water to three hours after it - on the Barry tide times.

'We ask people going to Sully Island to always check the tidal sign located on the wall heading down to the causeway to check when if it is safe to cross.

'If it is green it is safe to go and the sign will tell people how long they can safely stay on the island.

'If it shows amber then you must be cautious as the tide is heading back in, if the sign is showing red our advice is never to go to the island as there is a real risk of being cut off.

'If anyone does get stuck on the island our advice is not to try and wade ashore, which is a dangerous thing to do. People can easily be swept away by the currents. People should stay on the island and dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

'The RNLI charity, in partnership with other organisations, is undertaking a range of initiatives to increase knowledge about dangers at Sully Island.'

Notes to editors:

The attached picture shows the recent rescue where HM Coastguard Penarth and Penarth RNLI rescued five people and three dogs from Sully Island. Credit HM Coastguard Penarth

For more information please telephone Penarth RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer Andy Berry on 07951 051128.

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland