Early morning shout for Barmouth RNLI
While Barmouth RNLI volunteer crew member Russ Courtney was walking his dog during the early hours of Wednesday 21 June 2017, he was approached by a member of the public concerned about a group of males whom he had just seen launch a dinghy in the harbour.
Three males had been seen dragging an inflatable tender along the pontoon and rowing out into the darkness. It was warm evening with an easterly force 3 to 4 wind blowing.
Aware of the dangers of crossing the fast-flowing main channel in the dark, the crew member contacted the UK Coastguard who immediately authorised a launch of the Inshore Lifeboat (ILB).
The volunteer crew were paged at 01.17am and launched at 01.25. Senior helms Russ Courtney and Richard Jones along with crew member Alex Hill quickly located a yacht on the far side of the harbour with its masthead light on. On speaking to one of the five persons on board the yacht, it transpired that the tender was on its second run when it was spotted by the vigilant local man. When it was established that no-one was in danger and that all were safe aboard the yacht, the ILB departed the scene at 01.35 am and returned to station and ready for service again at 01.50 am.
Credit is due to the RNLI volunteers who turned out at such a late hour. No fewer than 18 crew members and shore crew turned up and stood by ready to launch the all-weather lifeboat should it have been necessary. The incident bore similarities to the shout to three Irish sailors swept out to sea in the main channel and whose lives were saved by Barmouth RNLI a year ago.
Coxswain Pete Davies said: ‘Again, it was a very good turn out from the station. I am very glad that all the crew on the yacht were safe and well. They did the right thing by alerting us, it is always better to be safe than sorry.’
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.
Learn more about the RNLI
Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries
Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.
The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland