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Penarth and Barry Dock RNLI lifeboats in challenging yacht rescue

Lifeboats News Release

A routine tow request developed into a challenging rescue today (Wednesday 16 August) with three lifeboats being tasked to the scene by the UK Coastguard to assist a yacht in difficulty.

HMCG Penarth

The exact position of the striken vessel was initially unknown but thought to be somewhere between Penarth Pier and Sully Island. Penarth RNLI's Atlantic Class lifeboat quickly located an 18ft yacht with two people on board just beyond Lavernock Point. The station's D class lifeboat also launched to provide much needed support and assistance to the rescue.

The vessel had lost power and was in very challenging weather and tidal conditions. A crew member was transferred onto the vessel and a tow commenced, but towing was difficult as wind was Force 5, with the seas steep and choppy and a 2m swell. Because of this Penarth RNLI requested further assistance from our colleagues at Barry Dock RNLI Lifeboat Station.

The two people on board the yacht were very anxious and unwell and the decision was made to transfer them onto Barry Dock's all-weather lifeboat. The casualties were taken to Barry Dock where they were given first aid and they were soon well enough to return to Cardiff Bay by land.

Penarth's D class lifeboat then returned to station and the Atlantic class inshore lifeboat completed the tow, taking the yacht to the safety of Cardiff Bay where it was met by Penarth Coastguard Rescue Team officers.

Jason Dunlop, Penarth RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, said: 'This was a difficult shout - almost four hours at sea - but one which we prepare for and which demonstrated great teamworking and our commitment to saving lives at sea.'

Notes to editors:

The attached photos should be credited to Penarth Coastguard Rescue Team.

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

HMCG Penarth

HMCG Penarth

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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