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Rhyl RNLI volunteers rescue two adults and two dogs from sinking speedboat

Lifeboats News Release

The two men, on a fishing trip with their dogs in an 18-foot speedboat, realised their boat was taking in water after their engine broke down and the battery was flat, so rendering their bilge pump unworkable.

The men did not have a radio to contact the coastguard, but were able to contact the UK coastguard at Holyhead by mobile phone. The coastguard immediately paged Rhyl All-weather lifeboat crew who prepared the lifeboat to be ready for launch. The initial position given by the men , of off Kinmel Bay, was found to be inaccurate, and the boat was eventually found some four miles to the North-East, due to the wind and tide.
The lifeboat crew were able to locate the vessel visually, and were alongside soon afterwards. The back of the boat was low in the water, and the outboard engine compartment was full of water. A tow was established and crew members were transferred from the lifeboat to the vessel to help with this. The men and the two dogs were taken on board the lifeboat. It soon became clear the vessel was shipping more water, and so the lifeboat's salvage pump was transferred and soon helped to keep the ingress of water to a manageable level whilst the tow was re-established.
As the tide was out at Rhyl, local volunteer coastguards retrieved the men's trailer from the harbour yard, and brought it to the lifeboat station, where the boat was recovered. The men were then taken back by road by the coastguards, with their boat, to their car.
Martin Jones, Rhyl lifeboat coxswain said ' We thought at first this would be a normal tow job, but we soon realised the boat was sinking when we got alongside. The crew worked really well as a team to stop any more water filling the boat, resulting in a successful rescue'.
The men were safe and well, as well as the dogs, after their rescue. Some safety advice was given by the local coastguard volunteers as to what radio equipment and location devices were available to locate their position more accurately in the future.
The pictures shown are credit Rhyl RNLI/Paul Frost, except where the picture of the two dogs is courtesy Tara Elliot, RNLI crew member. The lifeboat track is courtesy of
Approaching vessel.

RNLI/Paul Frost MBE

sinking speedboat 13/5/18
Rhyl RNLI crew using portable pump to empty water out

RNLI/Paul Frost

sinking speedboat 13/5/18
Track of Rhyl All-weather lifeboat

RNLI/Paul Frost

sinking speedboat 13/5/18
rescued dogs "coco" on left, and "kula" on right

RNLI/Paul Frost

sinking speedboat 13/5/18
Rescued dogs "coco" (L) and Kula" (R) with one of their owners

RNLI/Tara Elliot

sinking speedboat 13/5/18

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 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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