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RNLI Port Talbot's first tasking of 2023 to person in the water

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI Port Talbot volunteers were paged at 3:53 am after being requested to launch by HM Coastguard to a multi-agency incident at Aberavon Beach.

RNLI Port Talbot Launching

RNLI/Ceri Jeffreys

RNLI Port Talbot Launching

In heavy rain, darkness and cold conditions, with crew hoping for a good night's sleep in preparation for their first day back in work after the festivities, the pager sounded.

In an amazing demonstration of volunteer commitment, turnout was both prompt and in excellent numbers. Even at this unsocial time of the night, boat crew were changed swiftly while shore crew prepared launch equipment within minutes of the pager sounding.

It is at times like this that the 3948 hours of training in 2022 culminate in everyone knowing exactly what needs to be done, even when moments earlier they were deeply asleep.

As crew were preparing to launch, they learned that the casualty was in the care of South Wales Ambulance paramedics. This information was relayed to HM Coastguard who made the decision to stand down our crew.

Rachel Thomas Duty Launch Authority stated, 'Due to poor conditions and liaison with other agencies, the decision was made for crew to assemble on immediate readiness.

'HM Coastguard were very happy with our response and wished us a good sleep and happy new year.

'We work closely with our local police and this showed in this excellent multi-agency response and outcome.

I'm very proud of our volunteer crew who are willing to turn up and go to sea in awful conditions, regardless of time of day or night, to assist a complete stranger and our local emergency services'.

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.