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RNLI Port Talbot Tasked in the Darkness to Person in the Water

Lifeboats News Release

This was a first shout for volunteer shore crew member, Chris Willcocks.

RNLI/Ceri Jeffreys

At 8:37pm on Friday 18th November, RNLI Port Talbot were tasked by HMCG Milford Haven. This followed reports from South Wales Police of a person running into the sea at the North Pier of Aberavon Beach, and not returning. The crew launched their ILB D-816.

On arrival at scene the ILB crew conducted a shore line search for the person. Rescue helicopters 189 and NPAS were also dispatched to the location along with the local coastguard team. after approximately 15 minutes the person was located walking out of the water into the arms of Police. All units were stood down and the Port Talbot crew returned to station, leaving the casualty in the care of South Wales Ambulance Service.

Launch Authority Ron Jones stated 'it was a very fast launch with excellent numbers of volunteer crew turning out on a cold clear night.'

Helm James "Jambo" Jennings said 'when the launch authority tells you a person is in the water all your training kicks in. We launched promptly in challenging night surf which is eerie in the pitch black, with only the crest of the wave being visible and the sound to time your safe launch. We commenced a shore line search until we were told the casualty was safely ashore.'

'On our return the crew and myself were greeted by the very welcome sight of a large complement of volunteer shore crew running towards us in the darkness to assist with the recovery.'

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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