A search, people trapped on a sandbank, and a scattering of ashes ceremony.
It certainly was a varied couple of days for the volunteer crews of both Rhyl's RNLI lifeboats. The first call came at 4.25pm on Friday 12 August.
A member of the public reported an inflatable dinghy, apparently with a line into the water and not moving with the tide, off the sewer outlet buoy at Pensarn. The inshore lifeboat launched first and came alongside the dinghy. There was no-one on board, and so the crew started to pull on the line in the water. It resisted at first, and then came free. The all-weather lifeboat had also launched and was on scene shortly afterwards, together with a guard vessel from a nearby offshore windfarm construction site. A search of the area was then undertaken by the three boats and the local coastguard teams until it was reported that that the dinghy had been in position over four hours, and there was no-one with it. Enquiries further agreed that there had been no-one with the dinghy as the tide surrounded it, and it was tied to the sewer pipe. As no-one was reported missing, the search was terminated by Holyhead Coastguard.
The crew were just able to return to Rhyl harbour, in time to meet local fishing boats and their passengers who had met to scatter the ashes of ex-crew member John Povah off the harbour entrance. This was done off the deck of the lifeboat with the other boats in attendance. The lifeboat crews then returned to station at 7.30pm.
The following day on Saturday 13 August, the pagers alerted the crew at 2.22pm to two people stuck on a sandbank off Kinmel Bay, with the tide rapidly coming in. The inshore boat launched, and attended to two women, one of whom was quite poorly and was requiring evacuation off the bank. Luckily, the coastguard helicopter was about six miles away, and was diverted to the incident, It landed on the sandbank, and the lady was attended to by the helicopter, coastguards and lifeboat crew. She was winched into the helicopter as it took off and hovered above, and the other lady was assisted through the gulley to the shore, where she also went in the helicopter. They were taken to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. The lifeboat crew returned to station at 3.10pm. Martin Jones, Rhyl Coxswain says "This was a great multi-agency team effort"
The lifeboat launched again that evening for a planned exercise, accompanied by our honorary crew member Harry Mascall (10) who is half-way round his mission of visiting every RNLI station in the country. (See Harry's justgiving site www.justgiving.com/harrymascall )
Attached are pictures of the incident on Saturday, and a video of this callout should be available soon.
The picture of the helicopter winching is courtesy of Andrew Keenan, crew member Rhyl.
The second picture is of the scattering of ashes ceremony.
The third picture is of Harry Maskall (Rhyl honorary crew no. 29)
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.