RNLI lifeboats on both sides of Bristol Channel diverted from training to search
A number of lifeboats were called to assist in the search for an apparently overdue vessel in the Bristol Channel.
The alarm was raised as RNLI lifeboats from Penarth and Portishead were undertaking their regular Tuesday evening (15 November) training night.
Reports were made of a vessel which was apparently overdue and lost somewhere in the Channel. Both of Penarth RNLI's lifeboats and the Portishead RNLI lifeboat were directed to undertake a systematic search. The Severn Area Rescue Association boat was also launched to assist.
Barry Dock RNLI lifeboat were also placed on immediate readiness for launch. After searching for about an hour it was confirmed that the call was a false alarm, the vessel was not at sea and the people thought to be on board were safely ashore.
All of the lifeboats were stood down and returned to station.
For one crew member the shout came as he prepared for his final Helm assessment. Ian Alder ("Wrinks") from the Portishead crew had just completed his final Helm development session prior to assessment, and he was allowed to take command of the boat under close supervision.
This shout demonstrates the importance of lifeboat crews working across the Bristol Channel to liaise closely and to train together periodically so that in an emergency they can provide a seamless, efficient and effective rescue service.
For more information please contact Andy Berry, Penarth RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07951 051128 or Chris Cousens, RNLI Press Officer, Wales and West, on 07748 265496 or 01745 585162 or by email on email@example.com.
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 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.