Four incidents in one day for Weston-super-Mare RNLI
Thursday 26 July was one the busiest days of the summer holiday period so far for the volunteer RNLI crew at Weston-super-Mare after multiple launch requests were received throughout the day from Milford Haven Coastguard.
The first alert was received mid-morning, following a report of a dinghy adrift near Sand Bay. This was located further north near Langford Grounds and recovered to the lifeboat station by the D class lifeboat ‘Anna Stock’ once the crew had determined that it had not been used by anyone to go to sea. It was believed that it had probably blown from the shore after being abandoned.
Whilst returning to the station, the crew were tasked to investigate a report of one person struggling in the mud in Weston Bay. The area was thoroughly searched but nothing was found. The call was considered a false alarm with good intent.
Mid-afternoon, the pagers were again sounded by the Coastguard requesting an immediate launch to reports of multiple persons close to the tide line with a fast approaching incoming tide. The D class lifeboat was again launched to attend the scene. It was quickly concluded that everyone who had been in danger had already been rescued by the hovercraft from BARB which was operating on the beach at the time.
The final launch request of the day was received an hour before high water at 5.53pm, asking for the launch of both boats to a report of a family cut off by the tide on the south side of Brean Down. Upon arriving on scene, the crew located the group, comprising of two adults, three children and a baby in a pushchair in a small isolated cove.
In addition, there was another adult present that had swum out to attempt to assist. The D-Class lifeboat came ashore where the group were trapped. The crew checked that no one was injured and all persons were accounted for before transporting the casualties in two small groups back to the safety of the beach where they were passed to the care of the Burnham Coastguard. The Atlantic 75 lifeboat ‘Coventry and Warwickshire’ stood by in support. The boats were then stood down and returned to the station to be cleaned, refuelled and made ready for service.
Mike Buckland, Lifeboat Operations Manager of the Weston lifeboat station said ‘We experienced a very busy day to a variety of calls and urge everyone to check the local tide times when coming to the seaside. The tide can catch you out very quickly and the soft mud should not be ventured upon as you can become stuck and exhausted very quickly. If you find yourself in danger or witness someone you believe to be in trouble, dial 999 immediately and ask for the coastguard’.
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.