RNLI Penarth’s volunteer crew called out to paddleboarders swept out to sea
On Tuesday afternoon (17 August), RNLI Penarth’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat launched in response to a distress call from two paddleboarders who had been swept out by the tide near to Lavernock Point.
The paddleboarders, finding themselves unable to paddle against the tide and strong currents, had managed to call 999 for the Coastguard using a mobile phone they had brought with them in a waterproof case.
As RNLI Penarth’s volunteer crew arrived on scene, the paddleboarders had been picked up by a fishing vessel. After moving to calmer waters, the two were transferred to the lifeboat and taken safely back to shore.
Recalling the callout, RNLI Penarth volunteer helm Ben Evans said:
“Fortunately there was a good outcome with everyone safe and well, thanks to the paddleboarders carrying a means of calling for help – and thanks to the passing fishing vessel who picked them up from the water.
“The tides and currents in the water around Penarth can be very strong, so it’s important to check the tides and conditions before heading out on the water, and to make sure you are setting of from a safe place.”
Bethan, one of the paddleboarders rescued, said:
“It was a scary experience drifting out to sea. Even though the water looked calm the current became too strong to paddle against.
“I’m just glad we brought a phone with us - knowing help was on its way was a huge relief. That five pound waterproof phone case probably ended up saving our lives.”
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.