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Barmouth and New Quay RNLI launch to ocean rowing boat during storm Arwen.

Lifeboats News Release

On Friday 26 November 2021, pagers sounded at 6.36am tasking All Weather Lifeboat (ALB) Ella Larsen to launch to reports of a seven metre ocean rowing boat in distress in gale force winds, during storm Arwen.

ALB Ella Larsen launching into rough seas to a stricken ocean rowing boat

RNLI/Sarah Radford

ALB Ella Larsen launching into rough seas to a stricken ocean rowing boat

In fair visibility and rough seas, ALB Ella Larsen and her six volunteer crew members made their way 30 miles WSW off Barmouth to the location of the ocean rowing boat with four persons onboard. The stricken vessel was travelling from Ireland to Aberystwyth on a training exercise to prepare for a transatlantic crossing next year.

Before Barmouth lifeboat crew had arrived on scene the coastguard helicopter had been in attendance putting their winchman on board to assess the casualties. It was decided that one of the casualties, with a head injury, was to be airlifted and taken directly to hospital

Due to the appalling conditions, attempts by Barmouth’s volunteer crew to get alongside the vessel were proving difficult, so the ocean rowing boat was tossed a line attempting to put her under tow. Barmouth lifeboat had the stricken vessel secured as New Quay lifeboat, who were paged at 8.15am, arrived on scene. New Quay RNLI took the three casualties on board and were taken back to New Quay where they received medical attention.

ALB Ella Larsen and her volunteer crew made their way back to Barmouth and was readied for service at 1.45pm

Coxswain Peter Davies said; “It was a positive outcome in some very difficult weather conditions. An excellent display of teamwork by the RNLI and Coastguard”. 

ALB Ella Larsen launching in rough seas

RNLI/Sarah Radford

ALB Ella Larsen launching in rough seas

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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