First mission for helmsman Jake at Minehead RNLI
Four people were rescued by Minehead’s RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew after being trapped by the rising tide on Monday evening.
And the mission saw the station’s newest qualified helmsman, Jake Sanderson, 24, taking charge of the station’s D class boat just four days after being passed out.
Jake, whose father, Phil, is one of the longest-serving helmsmen at the station, took the boat into a rocky beach just east of Hurlestone Point to reach two kayakers.
They had left Porlock Weir earlier in the day and gone ashore on Selworthy Sands, but had had to climb up onto the rocks as the tide rose.
Both the station’s boats were launched to help them. The couple were transferred to Minehead’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat before being taken back to Porlock Weir. But meanwhile Jake and his crew came across a husband and wife trapped on a large rock immediately under Hurlestone Point, took them off and landed them at Bossington Beach.
Helmsman Paul Arnold, who also took part in the rescue, said: “If they had sat tight they would eventually have been able to get back to the beach, but it would have been a couple of hours at least and they were clearly getting a bit anxious.
“These were two classic cases of people not understanding the way the tides run in the Bristol Channel and then finding themselves in trouble.
“We can only underline the fact that anyone planning to walk or boat along this section of coast should check the tide times very carefully and if possible speak to a member of the lifeboat crew, or someone else who knows the area well, before setting out.”
RNLI media contacts
Further information from Chris Rundle, Press Officer, RNLI Minehead
01984 639026/07786 630523
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.