Burnham-on-Sea RNLI crews paged for muddy body-boarders

Lifeboats News Release

Milford Haven Coastguard control paged Burnham RNLI at 2.31 pm this afternoon (Sunday 9 August) after two female body-boarders were reported floundering in the mud trying to reach the water on a dropping tide.

RNLI/Mike Lang

Atlantic 85 Doris Day and Brian being launched at low tide

Because of the global pandemic, the RNLI have adopted several changes to protect its volunteer crews. One of which is appropriate amendment of training and PPE procedures. Hence, today, Burnham had organised a focussed training day with three consecutive training sessions involving launch and recoveries throughout the day, thus enabling most of the volunteers to achieve sufficient sea time.

The crews had only just recovered the lifeboats at the end of session 2, when the page occurred.

Burnham’s D class lifeboat Burnham Reach was speedily re-launched, and proceeded to the incident location, just passed the Berrow wreck, where they liaised with a Coastguard rescue team to persuade the two girls further to the water’s edge, who were promptly pulled aboard the lifeboat. The water was low and the mud was sufficiently soft to prevent them being dropped off ashore.

Fortunately, the BARB Search and rescue hovercraft had also been paged, so was able to ferry the girls easily (wearing loaned RNLI casualty lifejackets) back to the shore, leaving the D class crew to return to Burnham slipway with the girls' body-boards. Another great example of a multi-agency rescue.

In the previous second training session, the D class crew had also assisted a power vessel, which had run aground on the far side of the Island, and self-recovered. The crew of the power boat were assisted, and escorted to the safety of the Sailing club pontoons in the River Brue.

During the day’s training, in gorgeous August weather, the shore crew were able to assist members of the public by delivering appropriate safety advice about Burnham-on-Sea water and beach safety. The Atlantic 85 lifeboat and crews also worked with the shore crew and Lifeguards preventing members of the public trying to enter the water at some distance from the jetty by crossing the mud.

D Class lifeboat helmsman Nathan Meager said; ‘The mud was extremely soft and sticky, and the hovercraft was able to take the two girls (young teenagers) easily back to the shore. We dropped off the body-boards in the care of Burnham Coastguard, who reciprocated by returning our casualty lifejackets back to the lifeboat station.'

Remember - if you see anyone in trouble on the coast, call 999 and ask the Coastguard



Images with this release:

File name: Lifeboats_launching (RNLI/Mike Lang). At the start to the day's training, the Burnham-on-Sea RNLI Lifeboats proceed down Burnham slipway

File name: D_class_returns (RNLI/Mike Lang) Burnham D Class, Burnham Reach, Returning from the shout and ready for recovery

File name: Atlantic_85_launching (RNLI/Mike Lang) Atlantic 85 Doris Day and Brian being launched at low tide

File name: Helmsman_Nathan (RNLI/Mike Lang) Helmsman Nathan, fully equipped with PPE.

Lifeboats in service at Burnham-on-Sea:

A 7.5m Atlantic 75 named Doris Day and Brian plus a smaller 4.95m D class IB1 inflatable named Burnham Reach The station was opened officially on 15th May 2004, but has been operational since December 2003.

Note: Last year the RNLI was facing a ‘perfect storm’, with a reduced income and an increase in demand for it’s services. This year, in the midst of a global pandemic, fundraising has been severely reduced by a national lockdown, yet the lifeboats have still been launched 24/7 in their strategy to save lives at sea.

Click this link to donate; https://rnli.org/support-us/give-money/give-to-a-special-appeal/summer-appeal

RNLI media contacts

For more information about this release please telephone Mike Lang, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07889 815860 or email [email protected],

RNLI/Mike Lang

Burnham D Class, Burnham Reach, Returning from the shout and ready for recovery

RNLI/Mike Lang

Helmsman Nathan, fully equipped with PPE.

RNLI/Mike Lang

At the start to the day's training, the Burnham-on-Sea RNLI Lifeboats proceed down Burnham slipway

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 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.