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Cycling in drysuits to rescue a unicorn, interesting start to busy bank holiday

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteers at Aberystwyth had a busy bank holiday with call outs on Friday 26 May and Sunday 28 May, as well as attending the Town and gown cycle fest and Glengower raft race.

Aberystwyth RNLI crewmembers taking part in Cyclefest 2017 photo by Huw Fairclough

RNLI/Huw Fairclough

Aberystwyth RNLI crewmembers taking part in Cyclefest 2017 photo by Huw Fairclough
The weekend started on Friday evening when four of the crew had just started the Aberystwyth CycleFest Town and Gown cycle race around the streets of Aberystwyth in old and damaged drysuits and sweltering heat. Whilst the race was ongoing the rest of the crew were paged to reports of a large inflatable being blown out to sea.

The rest of the crew quickly launched the Arancia inshore rescue boat which was on scene off North beach in view of the cyclefest crowds where they located the huge inflatable unicorn with no people on board. A quick search of the area identified no people in distress in the water, so the unicorn was returned to shore and eventually reunited with its owners where sea safety advice on using inflatables with an offshore wind and magical animal care was discussed. Shortly after the Arancia returned to station the cyclists finished their race and were glad to get some refreshments.

On Sunday as both lifeboats were getting ready to launch to support the annual Glengower Charity raft race the pagers went off again and the crew were informed that a person was missing.

The Atlantic 85 ‘Spirit of Friendship’ was launched with 4 crew to go and search between Aberystwyth and Clarach, they were also joined by Borth Lifeboat who started searching the coast from Borth southwards and the Aberystwyth Coastguard rescue team. The arancia continued to support the raft race until it was finished, at which point it too joined the search along the cliffs between Aberystwyth and Borth.

With nothing found all search teams were stood down and returned to station.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Paul McCann, 07787785614 or RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789.

Aberystwyth RNLI crewmembers taking part in Cyclefest 2017 photo by Huw Fairclough

RNLI/Huw Fairclough

Aberystwyth RNLI crewmembers taking part in Cyclefest 2017 photo by Huw Fairclough

RNLI/Phil Griffiths

Glengower raft race 2017 assistance from Arancia

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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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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