Rhyl RNLI lifeboat volunteers called out twice within three hours.
Lifeboats News Release
The first call was to a small inflatable boat with three persons on board off Llandulas, and the second immediately after was to a speedboat with two people on board having engine trouble off Prestatyn.
The initial callout was requested by the UK Coastguard at Holyhead on Sunday 21 July at 12.43pm, after their mobile patrol in Rhos-on-Sea reported a small dinghy about a mile and a half out from Llandulas, appearing to be in trouble. There were three people on board, and the boat was moving erratically. The all-weather lifeboat 'Lil Cunningham' was launched and proceeded to the reported location of the boat. The sea was fairly choppy with an offshore wind. As the lifeboat approached the initial report position, the coastguard mobile patrol reported the boat was now much closer to shore. The lifeboat found the boat with the three persons happily drifting whilst fishing. It was noted the three did not have lifejackets, radio or flares, but they said that they were fine. The coxswain of the lifeboat gave them some strong safety advice about being out so far in a small inflatable with no alternate means of calling for help should their mobile phones failed. The party said they would be near to the shore and intended to return to Llandulas about 5pm. As all were OK, the lifeboat crew returned to Rhyl and had just recovered the boat and were taking it into the boathouse, when the Coastguard requested the boat to re-launch, this time to a small speedboat having engine trouble somewhere off Rhyl at 2.35pm. The crew launched again, and this time the boat owner had a VHF radio, and his position was ascertained by Prestatyn RNLI lifeguards as being off the Nova Centre, Prestatyn. The lifeboat was diverted that way and found the casualty boat with two people on board, just offshore at the Rhyl/Prestatyn border. The owner had managed to re-start his engine and was proceeding slowly back to Rhyl. The lifeboat crew escorted the vessel until it was safely back in Rhyl harbour, and was recovered by the harbour master with local coastguards in attendance to assist the owner with advice about radio procedure when at sea.
The lifeboat crew returned to the station at 4.40pm.
Coxswain Martin Jones said ' The first casualties were not prepared for an emergency should they get into trouble, but the second casualty was prepared, but was not calling for assistance on the emergency distress VHF channel 16, where the Coastguard could hear him better. We strongly advise all they who go to sea should be familiar with emergency and safety procedures and wear lifejackets at all times'
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 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.