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Swansea RNLI lifeguards and The Mumbles lifeboat's rescue saves man and his dog

Lifeguards News Release

On 21 July, during a rescue operation carried out by the RNLI lifeguards of Caswell Beach, a man and his dog were saved when their vessel capsized and began to sink near Whiteshell Point.

RNLI Swansea

RNLI Lifeguard Oscar Austin

The incident unfolded when RNLI Lifeguard Rhys Sabine, on duty at Caswell Beach, spotted a distressed vessel in the water near Whiteshell Point. Recognising the gravity of the situation he immediately radioed the base. Senior Lifeguard James Wake quickly responded by dispatching Lifeguard Oscar Austin to meet the vessel with a rescue board.

As Oscar approached the upturned vessel, he could not see any casualties. However, upon circling the craft, he discovered a man and his dog clinging to the side of the sinking boat. Oscar immediately assisted the man clear of the vessel and kept him afloat with the use of the rescue board. The dog however was tethered to the sinking vessel by its lead. Working quickly, Oscar managed to unclip the dog from the sinking boat and perched the animal alongside its owner on the rescue board.

During this time, Lifeguard James had coordinated with HM Coastguard who tasked The Mumbles RNLI lifeboat to the incident.

A near-by fishing vessel in the area spotted the incident and came to assist. The crew of the fishing vessel acted quickly, hoisting the man and his dog on board and waited for the arrival of the lifeboat. Fortunately, the casualties were uninjured, although they had swallowed some sea water.

The lifeboat arrived on scene and one of the crew members boarded the fishing boat to check over the casualties. After being checked over, the man and his loyal companion were transported by lifeboat to the lifeboat station, where they received further care and medical evaluation.

Dai Thomas, Helm of The Mumbles RNLI inshore lifeboat said:

‘We are incredibly impressed by the quick and efficient response of the RNLI lifeguards at Caswell Beach.

‘Their vigilance allowed them to spot and reach the casualty vessel, which had capsized very swiftly. Their intervention has saved the lives of both the skipper and his dog. Thanks also to the quick-thinking of the passing boats who were instrumental in this effective rescue.

‘Luckily on this occasion, no one was seriously hurt. Our safety advice to anyone using craft on the water is to always wear the appropriate and well-fitted personal floatation device at all times, and have a means by which you can call for help.’

Vinny Vincent, RNLI Lead Lifeguard Supervisor for the Swansea area, said:

‘Our lifeguards train in preparation for different scenarios on the beach that they may have to respond to, and this incident shows how they must act quickly and rely on their training.

‘The lifeguard team at Caswell Beach dealt with this to the highest standard, and without their swift, professional and coordinated action the outcome could have been very different for the man and his dog.’

Media Contacts

For more information please contact Anya Walton Media Engagement Placement on 07890066217 or [email protected]. Alternatively, please contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or [email protected] .

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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