First mission for helmsman Jake at Minehead RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

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 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 Republic of Ireland from 237 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 180 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.

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