South Wales RNLI lifeboats save two lives in dramatic early morning rescue

Lifeboats News Release

In challenging conditions, two fishermen were plucked from the water at 1am this morning (12 June) in a rescue involving Penarth and Barry Dock RNLI volunteer crew.

RNLI/Andy Berry

Preparing to transfer casualties

Shortly after 1.10am, Penarth RNLI were requested by Milford Haven Coastguards to launch to a 19ft fishing vessel which was taking on water near Lavernock point. The Atlantic class lifeboat was first on scene, and initial attempts were made to steady the stricken boat which was in challenging tidal conditions. Unfortunately the vessel had taken on too much water, and quickly sank, with the two people on the vessel entering the water.

Penarth's smaller D class lifeboat Spirit of Penarth II arrived at scene and provided immediate assistance. RNLI lifeboat crew members had no option but to enter the water in order to save the lives of the two casualties. The casualties were transferred to Barry Dock all-weather RNLI lifeboat which had also been launched to assist in the multi-agency rescue.

The all-weather lifeboat from Barry Dock arrived on scene at 1.29am and offered valuable assistance in the rescue operation, returning the casualties to the station where an Ambulance Technician and Paramedic, who are part of the volunteer crew were on hand.

Jason Dunlop, Penarth RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said:

'There is no doubt that the professionalism and swift actions of the crews saved the lives of the two casualties. The RNLI invests heavily in the training of the crews and the equipment we have access to, and we needed both to effect this rescue without loss of life.

'We are grateful to Barry Dock lifeboat crew, Milford Haven Coastguards who co-ordinated the rescue, Wales Ambulance service and Penarth Coastguard Rescue team who worked seamless as one team. Our thanks too go to the crew of rescue helicopter 187 who maintained a watch over us as the rescue developed, ready to deploy their winchman if required.'

Both casualties were taken by ambulance for medical checks as they were both cold and exhausted after their ordeal.

Penarth RNLI lifeboats were refuelled and readied for service, with crew members returning to their homes, and indeed workplaces, soon after 6am.

Notes to Editors

For further information please contact Andy Berry, lifeboat press officer, Penarth RNLI station 07951 051128. Video footage will be made available later today.

RNLI/Andy Berry

Crews immediately after a long night, watching the sun rise

RNLI/Andy Berry

the end of a long night

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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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