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Barry Dock RNLI volunteers rescue bride and groom cut off by the tide.

Lifeboats News Release

On Sunday 14 August, Milford Haven coastguard requested Barry Dock inshore lifeboat to launch to multiple people cut off by the tide on Sully island.

RNLI/Nigel Parry

Sully Island warning sign.

Barry dock inshore lifeboat was tasked by Milford Haven coastguard to reports of people cut off by the tide on Sully Island. Once on scene the RNLI volunteers were surprised to find a bride and groom and their photographer's on the island.

The newlyweds and their photographer had visited the island to take some photographs but had lost track of time and found themselves cut off by the incoming tide.

The RNLI crew located all involved and transferred them safely to the mainland. The bride was carried the last few meters by a gallant crew member to prevent her wedding dress getting wet.

Barry Dock RNLI Lifeboat coxswain Andy Gavan said:

'The RNLI of Barry Dock and Penarth rescue numerous persons cut-off by the second highest tide in the world each year. These persons are never the same ones rescued. As a charity, working with HM Coastguard, the RNLI not only saves lives at sea, but is also there to try to prevent persons getting into difficulty. As the tide dangerously rushes in over the cause-way at a river’s pace it is easy for someone attempting to cross back to the mainland to be swept off their feet and out to sea. Within six hours the sea will increase in depth by as much as 12 metres.

'There are numerous islands like Sully Island in Wales and the UK that experience the same accidental cut-off’s by the public. Volunteer lifeboat crew of the RNLI do not judge those persons cut-off. Accidents can happen to any of us and circumstances play a part. Locals know the area and the speed of our tides, but some visitors don’t. It is up to all of us to educate, to give advice where we can and to try not to judge those who visit and get caught out. Always read the warning signs, there is a traffic light system in place for Sully Island to take note of before crossing. Always check the tide times before visiting any stretch of the coast and if you do get into trouble, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.'

This was just one of the 11 shouts for the Barry Dock RNLI volunteers over that weekend.

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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