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Port Talbot RNLI assist yacht aground after engine failure

Lifeboats News Release

Port Talbot RNLI lifeboat D848 Craig Morris and its volunteer crew were tasked by HM Coastguard at 2.26pm to reports of a 24 foot yacht aground with four persons on board to the university side of the river Neath.

RNLI/Ceri Jeffreys

Port Talbot RNLI volunteers launched the D class lifeboat to a yacht aground.

Port Talbot RNLI crew launched quickly, knowing that the tide was dropping fast. On the first sunny day in many weeks, the clear skies and light winds encouraging people to make the most of the conditions.

Despite heavy traffic, work and family commitments, Port Talbot volunteer crew responded immediately to the sound of their pager, making best safe speed to the lifeboat station.

After launching the D class lifeboat, Port Talbot RNLI crew made best speed to the position provided by HM Coastguard locating the vessel hard aground, half an hour after high water.

On arrival, Port Talbot RNLI Helm, James Jennings, made a rapid risk assessment whilst also taking into consideration the expert view of his experienced crew.

It was decided the safest response was to secure the vessel and take the four occupants off the yacht and on board the D class lifeboat. The crew checked that all four people on the yacht were well and it was determined that they needed no medical treatment.

The vessel and it's occupants were taken back to Monkstone Marina.

Clive Morris, Lifeboat Operations Manager, said: 'Our crew attended a yacht that had ran aground in the river Neath. The helm and crew using their skills were able to rescue all concerned, taking them to safety to the Monkstone sailing club, where they were placed into the hands of the Coastguards.

'The owner of the yacht did exactly the right thing and called for help. All on board the yacht were equipped with lifejackets and a means of communicating with the Coastguard.'

Once the casualties were in the safe hands of HM Coastguard, Port Talbot RNLI lifeboat and crew returned to their launch site on Aberavon Beach, where the lifeboat was recovered by the shore crew, washed and refueled, ready for service.

Due to the location of the grounding between the busy working ports of Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot, the rapidly deteriorating weather and the high risk of the casualty vessel breaking free from its anchors causing a threat to navigation, it was decided the safest option was to page the crew on the next tide.

A thorough risk assessment was made by launch authorities, senior helms and experienced crew members, who also decided on balance the risk was greater to navigation than the risk of launching a second time.

In full consultation with the owner of the vessel to discuss any risks, the owner agreed to walk to their vessel in preparation for the recovery using the remaining day light to ensure their safety and await the arrival of our D class lifeboat.

It’s takes a massive commitment to be ready 24/7 in all weathers to save lives at sea.

RNLI/Ceri Jeffreys

Port Talbot RNLI volunteers launched early in the morning to secure the casualty vessel.

RNLI/Ceri Jeffreys

Port Talbot RNLI volunteers launched early in the morning to secure the casualty vessel.

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.