New Quay RNLI lifeboat supports flank station and lifeguards in major sea rescue
On Wednesday 2 September at 5.34pm New Quay RNLI’s Mersey class all-weather lifeboat launched on service to support Cardigan RNLI Lifeboat in a major sea rescue off Tresaith following a call for help by RNLI lifeguards.
The alarm was raised after two persons were reported to be in the water after their Canadian canoe had capsized off Tresaith beach. Two RNLI lifeguards immediately entered the water to rescue them but, knowing that the conditions would make it extremely difficult to get back to shore, a colleague contacted the Coastguard to request support.
New Quay and Cardigan lifeboats were tasked by HM Coastguard and launched immediately. Cardigan’s Coastguard Rescue Team and HM Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 187 from St Athan were also tasked.
The lifeguards located the casualties and got them onto their rescue boards but were unable to make any headway against a strong offshore wind, which quickly swept them further out to sea.
Cardigan’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat was first on scene, finding the casualties and the lifeguards almost a mile off Penbryn beach before transferring them into the care of the Coastguard team on Tresaith beach.
Meanwhile, New Quay lifeboat was requested to search for the canoe but nothing was found and it is thought that the canoe had sunk. The lifeboats were then stood down and returned to station by 7.30pm.
Roger Smith, RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager, said, “The RNLI is very proud of our two lifeguards who put themselves at great personal risk in order to rescue two kayakers who had got into difficulties in challenging sea conditions.
“This incident is a great example of how RNLI lifeguards and lifeboats work together with our colleagues from HM Coastguard, both on the ground and in the air, in order to save lives at sea.
“We urge the public to always check the wind and tide conditions in advance of taking to the water, whether in a kayak or other small craft, and to seek advice locally whenever possible.
“If you see someone in difficulties on the coast or on the water, please dial 999 and ask for Coastguard.”
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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.