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New Quay and Barmouth RNLI launch lifeboats to ocean rowing boat in Storm Arwen

Lifeboats News Release

On Friday 26 November New Quay RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat launched on service at 8.15am following a distress call from an ocean rowing boat 18 miles north west of New Quay in gale force winds during Storm Arwen.

The ocean rowing boat, with four persons on board, was travelling from Ireland to Aberystwyth in a training exercise to prepare for a trans-Atlantic crossing next year. Unfortunately, they had capsized and found themselves in difficulty so called for help.

In north westerly gale force winds in excess of 30mph and gusting over 50mph (force 8 with gusts of force 9), Barmouth RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was first to be tasked. As the casualty vessel drifted southwards, New Quay’s Mersey class lifeboat, the Frank and Lena of Stourbridge, with six volunteer crew members on board, was also requested to launch.

First to arrive on scene was the Coastguard rescue helicopter who placed their winchman on board the vessel to assess the casualties. It was decided to airlift one person with head inquires directly to hospital.

Daniel, New Quay RNLI’s Coxswain said, “We made good speed heading north in gale force winds and rough sea conditions. We located the vessel and Barmouth lifeboat was already on scene. We got alongside and pulled the three casualties out of the water and provided casualty care. We then headed back to New Quay where the casualties received medical attention.

“It was a great outcome in difficult conditions and a good example of lifeboats and the Coastguard working together in life threatening situations.”

The lifeboat arrived back in New Quay at 11.35am and, having been washed down and refuelled, was ready for service again by 12.30pm. 

Gemma Woodford

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.

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