Moelfre’s volunteer crew were tasked to three separate incidents within three hours on Saturday afternoon off the east coast of Anglesey
The RNLI crew at Moelfre were initially tasked just before 3:30pm on Saturday afternoon when Holyhead coastguard received a call from an 18 foot speedboat broken down with two adults and 3 children on-board between the popular Anglesey beaches of Lligwy and Dulas. The D-class inshore lifeboat ‘Enfys’ helmed by volunteer Dwynwen Parry was launched and on scene within 20 minutes. The vessel had suffered an electrical failure. A tow was quickly established and the lifeboat began the tow back to Traeth Bychan.
During the incident, calls for help where heard by the volunteers at Moelfre lifeboat station on VHF channel 16, the international distress frequency. It was quickly determined that the vessel was broken down and in fear of grounding on rocks at Dulas Island. Holyhead coastguard asked the inshore lifeboat to secure the towed vessel at the lifeboat station and proceed to the second distress off Dulas. Fortunately a nearby vessel heard the calls for help and towed the 18 foot vessel clear of the rocks and back to the safety of the beach. The original vessel was handed over to Moelfre coastguard team on Traeth Bychan beach and the inshore lifeboat returned to station.
Whilst the volunteer crew were washing and preparing the lifeboat for service, they spotted a small vessel stern to the tide off Moelfre Island with two people in the water trying to cut ropes free from its propeller. An immediate launch was requested by Holyhead coastguard and the inshore lifeboat relaunched. The two men had managed to get back aboard the vessel and were quickly assessed by the crew. The owner had doubts about the reliability of the engine after the fouled propeller, so the inshore lifeboat escorted them back to the safety of Traeth Bychan beach.
Volunteer helm and College lecturer Dwynwen Parry said:
‘It was a busy afternoon for our volunteer crew here at Moelfre. All three incidents had good outcomes but also had the potential to be something much more. The first vessel had 3 young children and I was concerned that they were cold and frightened. When the second call for assistance came in we anticipated calling the all-weather lifeboat out to assist us but fortunately another vessel responded. The 2 young men in the water in the third incident were very lucky. They only had shorts on and no lifejackets. With the fast flowing tidal race around Moelfre Island it could have resulted in them being swept away from their vessel without the right lifesaving equipment. Unexpected entry into the water is one of the key messages in the RNLI’s current #RespectTheWater campaign and this is a clear example of that.’
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.
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