Busy day for Sunderland RNLI volunteers

Lifeboats News Release

Lifeboat volunteers from Sunderland RNLI Station had a very busy day today (25 September) with volunteers responding to two separate incidents, along with one of their routine weekly training exercises.

The training exercise was halted shortly after 10:30am when volunteers on-board both of the charity’s inshore lifeboats were requested to divert  to attend an incident at Hendon, where a car had been reported as being on rocks at base of cliffs.
As well as the two inshore lifeboats, a shore based Coastguard Rescue team from Sunderland was also tasked to attend the incident.
The volunteer crew arrived to find the car on rocks on the beach close to southern end of Hendon Promenade. To allow an inspection of the car to take place a volunteer was put ashore to check if persons were inside the vehicle.
The inspection confirmed that no persons were in the vehicle which was later confirmed by Police as being reported stolen a week earlier.
Shortly after 11am the lifeboat volunteers and the other emergency services were cleared to stand down from the incident.
Paul Nicholson, Helmsman at Sunderland RNLI said: ‘On arrival our first priority was to confirm if any persons were trapped inside the vehicle. Unfortunately due to the location of the car combined with the swell, it was necessary for one of our volunteers to swim ashore to carry out a close up check of the vehicle.  Thankfully we discovered the car was empty and no persons were in danger’.
The second call came shortly after 1:10pm as volunteers were arriving home from the earlier training exercise and incident.  Coastguard Officers based at Humber Coastguard Marine Rescue Coordination Centre had received an emergency telephone call from the crew of a vessel stating that they had broken down and was being pushed against the inside of Roker Pier by the wind.
Officers immediately contacted Sunderland RNLI to request the launch of their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Wolseley.  A shore based Coast Response Team from Sunderland Coastguard station was also tasked to the scene to assist.
The lifeboat launched seven minutes later under the command of Helmsman Sam Clow with three other volunteer crew.
On arrival the volunteers found the stricken boat being pushed against the pier by the wind and waves running along the inside of the pier.
A line was quickly attached to the boat to pull it clear of the pier and into safer waters where a full tow was then established.
The vessel and its crew (three adult males) were taken in tow and returned to Sunderland Marina slipway.
Paul added: ‘This incident goes to show how quickly a simple breakdown can escalate into something far more serious. Thankfully our colleagues from the local Coastguard were on scene quickly and were able to pass down additional lifejackets and ropes to try and stabilise the vessel until we arrived.’
As a registered charity the RNLI relies on voluntary donations and legacies from the public for its income.
RNLI media contacts
For more information please telephone:
Paul Nicholson, Sunderland RNLI Press Officer on 07957 494 077 or email - pauldnich@yahoo.co.uk
Ben Mitchell, Sunderland RNLI Assistant Press Officer on 07923 218 761 or email – Benjamin_mitchell@rnli.org.uk or
Alex Morris, Sunderland RNLI Assistant Press Officer on 07540530395 or email – alex.richards@stc.ac.uk
As an alternative please contact Alison Levett, Media Relations Manager North on 07786 668 912 or alevett@rnli.org.uk  
or RNLI Headquarters Public Relations on 01202 336000.
Notes to editors
• Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Station is the oldest continually operation lifeboat in the United Kingdom. It was originally opened in 1800 before being adopted by the RNLI in 1865.
• Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Station operates its own website www.rnlisunderland.org  where supporters can keep up to date with station specific activities.
• Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Station has a profile on Twitter (SunderlandRNLI) and Facebook (RNLI Sunderland) where supporters can keep up to date with station specific activities and news.
• Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Station operates two inshore type lifeboats: An Atlantic 85 8.3m inflatable capable of 35 knots and a D Class (IB-1) 4.5m inflatable capable of 25 knots.

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.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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