Lifeboat Crew Abandon Town Parade For Emergency Call

Lifeboats News Release

A late morning emergency call-out meant that Holyhead’s RNLI lifeboat volunteers had to abandon their parade duties at the Holyhead Festival earlier today (Saturday 28 July).

RNLI/Vicki Owens

Holyhead inshore lifeboat rushes off to answer emergency call

The call from the UK Coastguard just after 11.30am cited a windsurfer in trouble just off the shore at Llanfwrnog beach, also known as Sandy Beach.

Both lifeboats were requested, as the weather conditions meant the all-weather lifeboat was needed to provide shelter and support to the smaller craft.

The crew were midway through town, in torrential rain, taking part in the town’s annual festivities, when their pagers alerted them to a distress call. The watching townsfolk, who had braved the weather to watch the parade, were greeted with the sight of the inshore lifeboat crew jumping into the boat (which was also on parade) and starting to don their drysuits while on a moving boat, being driven to the launch area at Newry Beach.

Meanwhile, other volunteers boarded the RNLI Land Rover, to make their way to the all-weather lifeboat Christopher Pearce.

Both lifeboats launched quickly and headed towards the area. On arriving at the scene, they found a lone windsurfer, who was having difficulty due to his mast snapping off in the winds. He was near to shore, but unable to get back to land due to the swell and poor conditions.

Another craft was nearby keeping a watchful eye on him; but retreated once the lifeboat volunteers arrived.

A member of the inshore crew jumped into the water, and swam to the casualty, who was then assisted back to land, where volunteers from the coastguard were also on scene to assist.

On reaching land, the casualty was assessed and deemed well enough not to require any further medical attention.

Both lifeboats then made their way back to their berths; the all-weather lifeboat to the inner harbour berth, and the inshore back to the lifeboat station, returning back at 1pm.

The call out was the first experience as a coxswain for crewman Gareth Owens, first mechanic shout for Reece Jones, and first shout as navigator for Nikki Price.

Holyhead Lifeboat Station’s deputy launch authority (DLA) David Owens, said:

‘The correct call was made to the coastguard due to the windsurfer’s predicament and the poor weather. It must have been quite a spectacle for the public watching the crew abandon the parade and start hurriedly donning their drysuits, before heading off away from the parade. Thankfully the crew managed to assist the casualty in time, and he was safely returned to shore.’

Notes for editors:

Holyhead Lifeboat Station has two lifeboats: the Severn-class all-weather lifeboat Christopher Pearce, and the D-Class inshore lifeboat Mary and Archie Hooper.

For further information, please contact Vicki Owens, Holyhead Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07531 681409, or

RNLI/Vicki Owens

The inshore lifeboat crew returning from the emergency call on Saturday

RNLI/Vicki Owens

ifeboat volunteers returning from their call on Saturday

RNLI/Vicki Owens

The inshore lifeboat crew returning back to shore after their call out on Saturday.

RNLI/Vicki Owens

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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.

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