RNLI Port Erin Lifeboat launches to swimmer in difficulty
On Sunday 21 November at 10am Port Erin RNLI lifeboat was tasked by the Isle of Man Coastguard to a reported swimmer in difficulties within Port Erin Bay in a force 5-6 north-westerly.
The call came in from a concerned member of the public from Bradda head, where they saw the swimmer crossing the opening of the harbour. Helmsman Tony Mitchel and the volunteer crew launched the relief lifeboat B-880 Martin Fredick Whithouse to search for the swimmer.
The RNLI volunteers spotted a swimmer just off the old Breakwater. The swimmer told the lifeboat crew that he was swimming alone, doing a lap of the bay and didn't need any assistance. After examination, the swimmer was not injured or in difficulty, just a bit cold from the water. The volunteer crew took the person ashore where the Port Erin Coastguard team met them at the Raglin pier.
Helmsman Tony Mitchell returned to the relief lifeboat and volunteer crew safely to the station, where they cleaned and refuelled the lifeboat, ready for the next service.
If you intend to go open water swimming remember to respect the water. The average temperature of UK and Irish waters is 12⁰C, even in the summer. The water temperature is cold enough to cause cold water shock, which can steal the air from your lungs and leave you helpless in seconds.
Be aware of the dangers. Know your limits, and don't take risks. If swimming in open waters, go with others and look out for each other. If swimming alone, tell someone ashore your plans and what time you expect to be back. Remember to always carry a means of calling for help in case you do end up in trouble.
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.