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Barmouth RNLI called out to dinghy in difficulties

Lifeboats News Release

At 3pm on Saturday 15 May, Barmouth RNLI volunteer crew were alerted to what was initially reported to be an abandoned dinghy.

The volunteer crew attended the scene and spotted a dinghy on the foreshore of Penrhyn Point, near Fairbourne.  It appeared that three men had launched the dinghy into the main channel from a point near the perch off Ynys y Brawd and had been swept by the incoming tide and a northwesterly force two to three wind down towards Penrhyn Point.

While the crew were at the scene, the men emerged from the sand dunes and relaunched the dinghy.  They struggled to paddle back in the fast running tide in the channel and were being swept towards Barmouth Bridge.  However, the volunteer lifeboat crew were able to go to their aid by paddling in the chest-high water to reach the boat and drag it and its occupants back to the shore where they were given safety advice.

Since the barrage across the north channel between the mainland and Ynys y Brawd was erected in the 1970s, there has been a considerable build-up of wind-blown sand making access to the island much easier for the public.  As a consequence, more and more people venture out towards the perch and are in danger of being cut off by the tide or getting into trouble in the fast flowing waters of the main channel.

Coxswain Peter Davies said:

‘The water in this area can be unpredictable, with waves, tides and hidden currents that can drag you out to sea in seconds.  We would urge anyone to check the weather and tide times before putting to sea, to make sure your craft is suitable for purpose and that each person is wearing a lifejacket.’

Media Contacts

For further information, please contact Norma Stockford, Barmouth Lifeboat Press Officer on 07917 245882 or Danielle Rush, Public Relations Manager in Wales on 01745 585162 or 07786 668829.

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 Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 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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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland