Barrow RNLI Rescues Swimmer in Difficulty

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteer crew from the RNLI’s Barrow Lifeboat Station launched their inshore lifeboat this morning to go to the aid of a swimmer in Walney Channel who had got into difficulty.

RNLI Barrow Lifeboat Station

RNLI/Chris Clouter

RNLI Barrow Lifeboat Station

Crew pagers were activated at 11-38am following a request for an immediate launch from the regional HM Coastguard base in Holyhead. The information received was that a lone male swimmer in the Channel off Roa Island was struggling against the tide which had just turned after high water.

The alarm had been raised by observers from the shore, one of whom was from Ulverston Inshore Rescue. He also assisted a kayaker to launch his craft into the water so that he could make his way out to the casualty. This provided something for the casualty to hold on to until the lifeboat arrived. The Barrow inshore lifeboat, ‘Vision of Tamworth’, was launched at 11-53am with Jonny Long at the helm assisted by crew member Saul Tomlin. The casualty was about 150 metres out from the lifeboat station which meant that the lifeboat was very quickly at the scene and able to haul the casualty aboard to safety.

A few minutes later, the lifeboat was back at the lifeboat station where the casualty received immediate care in the crew room. Paramedics from the North-West Ambulance Service also responded to the incident and on arrival at the lifeboat station carried out an assessment of the casualty.

The successful outcome to this rescue was in no small part due to the assistance of the kayaker and the member of Ulverston Inshore Rescue to whom we extend our thanks.

The weather during the incident was overcast, and the wind was West-north-westerly, Force 4-5. The high tide had passed at 11-18am with a height of 9.8 metres.

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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 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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