RNLI Moelfre Volunteers Called to Incidents Involving Inflatable Beach Toys

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI Moelfre inshore lifeboat 'Enfys 2' and its volunteer crew launched twice today (7.08.20) to separate incidents involving Inflatables being blown out to sea by the offshore wind.

RNLI/Dawn Hughes, Fundraiser

The first launch was at approximately 12:pm, when Holyhead coastguard received a 999 call from a concerned member of the public who was watching an inflatable drifting out to sea off Benllech beach.

The RNLI volunteer crew were on the water and underway in less than ten minutes and with the assistance of Moelfre coastguard, they quickly located the inflatable unicorn nearly 1 mile offshore with no one onboard. As the crew began a search up-wind towards the beach looking for any persons in the water a call was received to say the inflatable had been blown off the beach earlier but not reported, no persons were onboard.

The mobile coastguard team from Moelfre stayed at Benllech and gave safety advice to the other inflatable users on the water and the inshore lifeboat and its crew returned to station.

The second incident came in at 4:41pm when again, a report came in from a concerned member of public who was watching an inflatable getting blown offshore but was unable to tell if it was occupied or not.

The stations Inshore lifeboat ‘Enfys 2’ was launched again in under ten minutes and the volunteer crew were quickly on scene. Moelfre Coastguard team members along with Moelfre lifeboat station personnel had an object visible and the crew quickly recovered a 1-metre inflatable beach ball.

The informant advised the Coastguard that it was not the same object and could still see the inflatable out to sea. The crew of the Inshore lifeboat made best speed to the second target and began searching further offshore. They were directed to the second target by Moelfre Coastguard, this was again nearly 1 mile offshore.

It was another inflatable and as the crew began to search for any occupants up wind and back towards shore it was established that the ring had blown off the beach/ sand earlier in the afternoon, again with no one in danger.

With confirmation no assistance was needed, and no further reported concerns, the crew were stood down and returned to station.

Fortunately, eagle-eyed members of public spotted these inflatables and meant they could be thoroughly checked by our volunteer crew and ensure that no one was in immediate danger.

We would like to remind members of the public to the dangers of using inflatables in open water, particularly with offshore winds. Inflatable beach toys should always be tethered, used in shallow and sheltered waters and any children should always be supervised by an adult.

If you, or your children are blown out to sea in an inflatable tell them to stay onboard or inside the craft DO NOT ENTER THE WATER- DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SWIM TO SAFETY - AWAIT RESCUE.

Don’t forget if your inflatable blows away, even if no one is onboard, please inform the Coastguard of where it is heading plus colour and size.' That then will ensure that a multi-agency search isn’t triggered that may possibly involve one or more lifeboat station plus the Coastguard helicopter.

For further information, please contact Phil Williams, Moelfre Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07773 979910

RNLI/Dawn Hughes, Fundraiser

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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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