Swimmers, yacht tenders, kite surfers and a flamingo, all in a week's work.
The volunteer crews of Rhyl's RNLI lifeboats and RNLI lifeguards have been busy the last week on various rescues.
At 1.29pm on Tuesday 22 August, the charity's lifeboats were called to search for a young person believed fallen from an inflatable flamingo, about 400 metres off Kinmel Bay beach, to the West of the station. The Coastguard helicopter from Caernarvon and also local lifeguards and coastguards were also involved. The units searched for a nearly an hour after the Rhyl Inshore lifeboat met up with a small day boat who had retrieved the empty inflatable. After a while, the local coastguards reported that they had been approached by a family who reported the child had been recovered well by other swimmers, and all was well. The party also had an inflatable white flamingo, a unicorn and a slice of Pizza! All units were stood down at 4pm, the lifeboat finally returning at just after 4.30pm. (See attached photo of a deflated flamingo!)
The crew were busy preparing for a visit by the RNLI's Chief Executive officer on Friday 25 August, when at 11.05am on Wednesday 23 August, they were requested to assist RNLI lifeguards by the new Pavilion Theatre, to recover a small yacht tender which had broken free from a passing yacht. This was done within 10 minutes and the crew then continued their work to make the boathouse spotless! (see photo of tender on back of trailer)
At 4.10pm on Thursday 24th August, the Inshore lifeboat was requested to assist RNLI lifeguards at Prestatyn, who had entered the water to assist two young girls who were having difficulty getting back to shore. The lifeguard swam out and kept them afloat, also getting them back to shore just as the inshore lifeboat arrived. The rescue helicopter from Caernarvon was also tasked, together with Rhyl and Flint volunteer coastguard teams. The lifeboat crew and lifeguards then attended with casualty care and oxygen to the two girls, who were quite poorly after their ordeal and were showing signs of being hypothermic . The helicopter and coastguard teams arrived as did an ambulance. After a discussion it was decided that the helicopter crew would take the girls to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd hospital for a check-up. The teams then returned to station by 5.30pm.
As the lifeboat crew were cleaning their boat, the RNLI lifeguards at Rhyl had noticed a kite surfer struggling to remain upright offshore, and so the inshore lifeboat was again requested. The boat was on scene within five minutes, and assisted the kite surfer to get back to the point of departure, all was well, so the lifeboat returned to station at 6.35pm.
The crew still had to tidy up for the CEO's visit the next day, so an early start on Friday morning is called for! The crew are also busy preparing for their part in the annual Air Show at Rhyl on 26 and 27 August, so some of the volunteer crew had been on station for over 12 hours that day.
Paul Frost, Acting Coxswain at Rhyl RNLI says ' These past few days have proved what a close-knit and well-trained team there is here between the lifeguards and the lifeboat crews; also our close co-operation between UK Coastguard and the other emergency services has worked very well'
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, in a normal year, 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.