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Barry Dock RNLI lifeboat launched after car is overcome by rising tide

Lifeboats News Release

Barry Dock RNLI lifeboat was paged at 4.43pm on Thursday (25 May) to the unusual report of a car in the water at the Old Harbour in Barry, just a short distance from Barry Dock Lifeboat Station.

The Barry Dock RNLI volunteers launched both their Trent class all-weather lifeboat the Inner Wheel II, as well as their boarding boat, a fully equipped D class inshore lifeboat which can also be used as an extra asset for some rescues, and quickly made their way around to the Old Harbour. Once they arrived on scene, they found a car that had been used to launch a small motor boat from the slipway, and had been left at the bottom of the slip whilst its owners were out on their pleasure boat

Unfortunately for the owners, they were not familiar with the area that they had launched from and had not realised that with the Bristol Channel's large tidal range, much of the slipway would be soon underwater. Their car had subsequently been left partially submerged.

The Barry Dock RNLI volunteers stood by for a while to assess the situation and after seeing that no one was in any danger, they returned to station shortly after.

Speaking after the shout, volunteer coxswain Marc Gibbons warned of the dangers of tides. He said: 'The Bristol Channel has some of the highest tidal ranges in the world, and they can even catch out experienced seamen. It's really important that when you're planning a trip, you should check what time the tides are, how big they are and also to check charts for the area so that you know which areas will dry out and which ones will be left underwater'.

Media contacts:

For more information please contact Ben Phillips, Barry Dock RNLI, on 07712 816756 or Chris Cousens, RNLI Press Officer, Wales and West, on 07748 265496 or 01745 585162 or by email on

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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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland