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Three sailors rescued after extensive RNLI search in the Bristol Channel

Lifeboats News Release

Three sailors have been found off Flat Holm Island after an extensive search this morning (Thursday 21 March) involving five RNLI lifeboats and HM Coastguard 187 helicopter.

Three sailors left a cargo ship moored two miles off Minehead last night. The sailors left the ship in the evening on a RIB and headed for Barry. They were reported overdue at 7am this morning. The three had attempted to make their way back from Barry to Minehead on the RIB but got lost in foggy conditions in the channel.

Minehead RNLI’s Atlantic class lifeboat and Barry Dock’s Trent all-weather lifeboat were launched just after 7am this morning to assist in the search. As the search continued two lifeboats from Penarth RNLI, the Atlantic 85 and D-class lifeboat, along with Ilfracombe RNLI’s Shannon class lifeboat also launched to assist at around 8am. All five lifeboats lifeboats carried out detailed searches along their coastlines.

The sailors were found safe but very cold on Flat Holm Island at around 8:30am by Penarth RNLI volunteers. After being assessed by the RNLI volunteers the Coastguard 187 helicopter landed on the island to further assess the casualties but it was decided they were well enough to return to land by lifeboat.

All lifeboats have now been stood down and are returning to their relative stations.


RNLI media contact

For more information contact Eleri Roberts, RNLI Media Officer on 01745 585162 / 07771 941390 or email Eleri_Roberts@rnli.org.uk. Alternatively contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

Three sailors have been found off Flat Holm Island after an extensive search this morning (Thursday 21 March) involving five RNLI lifeboats and HM Coastguard 187 helicopter.

RNLI/Penarth

Three sailors rescued after extensive RNLI search in the Bristol Channel
Penarth RNLI Atlantic 85 and D-class lifeboat

RNLI/Nicholas Leach

Penarth RNLI lifeboats

RNLI/Eleri Roberts

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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 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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