Burry Port RNLI Presentation and Christmas Dinner event delayed by pagers

Lifeboats News Release

On a quiet Saturday evening, when all our crew members and partners were thinking of getting ready for Burry Port RNLI Presentation & Christmas Dinner, have a shower, get changed, looking forward to a pleasant evening............

Atlantic 75' Leicester Challeng II' and D Class 'Diane Hilary' near Whitford Lighthouse

Nick Leach

Burry Port RNLI Lifeboats

At 5:06pm off went the pagers, both lifeboats to be launched to assist two vessels in difficulty close to Blue Pool on Burry Holmes, North Gower.

The D Class inshore lifeboat Diane Hilary with helmsman Gary Morgan and the Atlantic 75 Leicester Challenge II helmed by Darren Sheppard, were on the water by 5:15pm and heading for Burry Holmes. The lifeboats were crewed by Jared Phillips, Kevin Lloyd, Lee Fox, Paul Mitchell and Osian Bowen.

A 21 foot fishing boat and a 21 foot Dory were working together off the Holmes when the Dory had some rope wrapped around its propeller. The fishing vessel took the Dory under tow, but after some heavy surf the towed Dory was smashed into the rear of the towing vessel, causing damage to the transom and the 'towing' vessel was taking on water. Both fishing crews were now on board the towing vessel but they decided to drop off two crew members on Broughton Beach and leaving the Dory on anchor.

Both RNLI lifeboats arrived on scene, the Atlantic was tasked to get a tow on the Dory and the D Class to assess the damage to the fishing boat.

It was decided to tow the Dory back to Burry Port and escort the fishing vessel, with its crew of two, back up the estuary to its moorings in Loughor.

The Dory was towed back but just off Burry Port Harbour it capsized and sank, with an RNLI crew member escaping quickly and losing some vital RNLI equipment in the process. The tow was dropped to recover the crewman, but for safety and with no life at risk, the Dory was abandoned.

In the meantime the D Class had escorted the fishing vessel close to Loughor Bridge where it was safely moored until the rising tide could allow it in to Loughor moorings. UK Coastguard Units were monitoring its situation. Loughor inshore rescue boat were put on standby later, as the vessel passed under Loughor Bridge heading to its moorings.

Weather conditions caused some recovery problems at Burry Port and eventually there was sufficient water to enter Burry Port Harbour. Both boats were recovered and all crew members safe and sound.

The fishing vessel was safely moored at Loughor and the Dory was recovered on Sunday morning by its owners.

Meanwhile, the dinner was delayed for at least one hour but we all managed to sit down for food at 9:15pm, 90 minutes later than planned.

Terrific job by the staff at the Ashburnham Golf Club, a cracking meal, and not spoilt by our delay.

RNLI media contact

For more information contact Alun Wells, Burry port Lifeboat Press Officer on 07929 783239 or email a.wells142@btinternet.com.

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 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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