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Abersoch RNLI volunteer helm spotted a struggling dinghy whilst out windsurfing.

Lifeboats News Release

The crew were paged at 5.38pm Friday 13 May following reports from one of their own crew of a sailing dinghy sinking 200m off The Old Lifeboat Station in Abersoch bay.

RNLI/Emma Wood

The Peter & Ann Setten Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat was launched within 10 minutes and the volunteer crew arrived at the scene just 5 minutes later where they found a 40 year old female in a small Optimist dinghy which had been swamped by the sea and was sinking.

Volunteer Helm, Phill Wood, who was out windsurfing at the time, raised the alarm after spotting the casualty in trouble. He remained with the casualty until the lifeboat arrived.

Phill said, ‘I saw a small sailing dinghy in the Sound and something didn’t quite look right, so myself and another windsurfer decided to go out and check on them. It was a moderate south westerly wind gusting strong. We arrived to find a small dinghy with one person on board completely swamped and struggling to make headway. We immediately went ashore and called for help as we felt they were unable to make it back to the shore. We then returned to the casualty until the lifeboat arrived’.

The casualty and dinghy were both returned to the shore by the lifeboat. The casualty was assessed by the crew and was found to be cold but otherwise OK. The lifeboat returned to the station at 6.05pm where it was thoroughly washed down, refuelled and left ready for service.

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.