Busy Saturday For Holyhead RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

It was a busy Saturday afternoon and evening for the volunteers of Holyhead RNLI today (July 17th) with three calls to assist people in trouble along the local coastline.

RNLI/Vicki Owens

Holyhead's RNLI returning with the casualty craft on the third call of the day on Saturday

Pagers first sounded just after 1.20pm, asking for the launch of the all-weather lifeboat Christopher Pearce, to provide back up for crew from the flank station Trearddur Bay, after paddle boarders got into trouble near South Stack. Volunteers from Holyhead cliff rescue team were also called to the scene. The initial call was to assist local kayakers, but it transpired that they were at the scene to provide assistance to the paddle boarders.

Trearddur Bay RNLI completed the rescue, and once the situation was under control, the Holyhead crew returned to their berth at the port, where the lifeboat was made ready for further calls.

A short time after returning, pagers sounded for a second time, once again asking for the launch of the all-weather lifeboat. This time, a 7-metre vessel with five adults and an infant on board, was in trouble one and half miles out from the Rocky Coast area.

The craft had suffered complete power failure, and the sailors had dropped anchor and called for assistance.

On reaching the scene, the coxswain assessed the situation, and decided the safest course of action was to tow the vessel back to the nearest safe and suitable location, which was a mooring within Holyhead harbour.

The lifeboat then returned once again to her berth at the port, and was ready for service just after 5.30pm.

Then , shortly after 7pm, pagers sounded for a third time, once again requiring the launch of the all-weather lifeboat. A 26ft yacht, with three people on board, was suffering engine failure. A strong ebbing tide was pushing the vessel and her occupants south. The lifeboat quickly reached the location, and once again an assessment was made by the coxswain as to the best course of action. It was decided for safety reasons that the vessel should be towed back to the safety of the nearest harbour, and a tow was quickly established. Both the lifeboat and casualty craft made their way back, and the yacht was places on a mooring at 9pm. The Christopher Pearce once again headed back to her berth, and was made ready for service.

Coxswain Tony Price said both boat owners had done the correct thing in calling for help.

He said:

‘A very busy day for us. Once again, thanks to the volunteers for a great turn-out from the sea and shore crew. The first casualty craft was a fine vessel, and had just succumbed to power failure. The second was new to the owners, and they were also fairly unfamiliar with the area, so we offered some local knowledge advice. Even on the calmest of days it’s so important to have a good understanding of our local tides.’

He added,

‘HM Coastguard did a great job of co-ordinating all of the day’s events. They were inundated with calls today, so we appreciated their professionalism and assistance throughout. We also really appreciate the local coastguard volunteers, who had a very busy day. Even though we didn’t require their assistance today, it’s wonderful to know they are there if we need them.’

RNLI/Dave Roberts

Holyhead's Severn-class all-weather lifeboat returning to berth on Saturday evening

RNLI/Vicki Owens

RNLI/Nicola Price

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.

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