During a busy half-term weekend, the Moelfre RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew were tasked by Holyhead coastguard at 4:25pm to reports of an out of control inflatable off Red Wharf Bay with its occupants in the water.
Moelfre’s inshore lifeboat and crew of three were on the water within seven minutes of the call and were quickly on scene. They found several people on the beach and a person in an inflatable heading out towards a yacht moored off shore. Inshore lifeboat helm Dwynwen Parry made straight for the dinghy to ascertain if there were any people unaccounted for. Moelfre coastguard team arrived at Red Wharf Bay and between both the lifeboat crew and coastguard it was quickly confirmed that all people were safe and well on the beach.
After boarding the dinghy on the beach it had partially capsized in shallow water, the occupants who were thrown into the water made their own way to shore and the vessel was brought under control by an onlooker when it beached in the shallow water. The inshore lifeboat transferred the remainder of the yachts crew ashore, and the vessels owner continued on passage to the Menai straights.
RNLI station mechanic Vince Jones said:
‘It was a very speedy response by our volunteer crew, and we had to get our inshore lifeboat there as quickly as possible in case people were still in the water. Although the exact story was unclear, fortunately everyone was safe and well but this could have turned out to be a very different story. It’s a good time to remind people about the importance of engine kill cords and the use of lifejackets.’
On returning to station a ‘Mayday’ call was broadcast from a vessel that had hit rocks and was aground in the Puffin Island area, but the exact location was unknown.
The Moelfre inshore lifeboat was diverted to the ‘Mayday’ call and at 5:24pm Moelfre’s all-weather lifeboat Kiwi was launched to help locate and assist the vessel in distress. Whilst on route the all-weather lifeboats VHF radio direction finding equipment was used to locate the casualty vessel and the inshore lifeboat was sent to investigate. They quickly found the speedboat with two occupants on-board. They had hit submerged rocks which caused damage to the engine.
The Beaumaris Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Annette Mary Liddington was launched at 5.30pm and made its way to Puffin Island to join the Moelfre D-class inshore lifeboat Enfys
Once the crews of the lifeboats had ascertained that the two people on the boat did not need medical assistance. The Moelfre inshore lifeboat attached a towline to the casualty vessel this line then being passed to the Beaumaris lifeboat to pull the craft from the causeway.
As the impact of running aground had damaged the engine of the speedboat, the Beaumaris RNLI lifeboat placed a crew member aboard the vessel and then proceeded to tow her to the Moel y Don slipway on the Menai Straits whilst the Enfys returned to Moelfre.
Upon completion of the tow the Annette Mary Liddington returned to Beaumaris arriving at 7.05pm being refuelled and prepared for further service by 7.40pm.
Moelfre’s duty coxswain Andrew McHaffie said :
‘The inshore lifeboat was still on the water from the previous incident, and by having a full complement of crew for the all-weather lifeboat and shore helpers already on station, we were able to launch very quickly and locate the casualty. This was the fifth launch for our volunteer crew in what has turned out to be a very busy holiday period around the coast’
For further information, please contact Moelfre Lifeboat Press Officer Vince Jones on 07787 528929 or Beaumaris Lifeboat Press Officer John Pulford on 07721 034720.
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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