Volunteer Weston RNLI crew launch to distress call in Weston Bay
A late evening call on Friday 07 September led to the local RNLI crew searching for a vessel potentially in danger. The all-weather lifeboat from Barry Dock was also tasked to assist in the night-time search.
The initial launch request was received from Milford Haven Coastguard at 10:12pm following a report of 3 red distress flares spotted off Weston-super-Mare. A faint radio transmission was also received stating a vessel had run out of fuel and was drifting.
Due to the tide being low, the Weston D class lifeboat Anna Stock was launched to investigate via the low water route around the walkway at Marine Lake. The Barry Dock crew joined the search aboard the radar equipped Trent Class lifeboat Inner Wheel II.
After extensive searches by both volunteer lifeboat crews, covering the area initially from Brean Down to Sand Point and then further out into the Bristol Channel, they were stood down after nothing was found.
The crew of Anna Stock, her launch vehicle and all the muddy equipment was cleaned down and made ready for service. Due to the sticky nature of the notorious Weston mud, it took until the early hours of Saturday morning to be concluded. The volunteer crew headed home just after 2:45am to get some well-earned rest.
Mike Buckland, Lifeboat Operations Manager of the Weston lifeboat station said: ‘It is unclear if this was a hoax call or a false alarm with good intent. Our volunteers are always ready to respond 24 hours a day, seven days a week for every emergency that we are tasked with’.
If you believe you see or hear someone in danger at the coast, always dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.
To find out how you can stay safe while enjoying your water activity, visit www.RespectTheWater.com
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.