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Port Talbot RNLI respond to a swimmer in distress

Lifeboats News Release

Port Talbot RNLI’s inshore lifeboat D848 Craig Morris was requested to launch by HM Coastguard at 8.45am on Tuesday 6 June to a person in distress

Port Talbot RNLI

Port Talbot RNLI crew during the incident

A report was received that a swimmer was in distress heading out towards the Stalheim buoy approximately one nautical mile out to sea.

Volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew made best speed to the area and on arrival spoke with those that raised the alarm to gather more information on the person in distress.

Despite the calm conditions, it was impossible to know the difficulties that the swimmer was encountering, so additional support was requested. The survey vessel Marie Ann was tasked to search the area near the Stalheim buoy as well as the UKD Bluefin dredger who was working the channel into Port Talbot Harbour.

After an initial round of searches, HM Coastguard requested the launch of Mumbles all-weather lifeboat and Coastguard helicopter Rescue 187 from St Athens.

Once the Coastguard helicopter was on scene, an aerial search of the harbour and breakwaters was undertaken. The swimmer was located on the harbour side of the short arm breakwater. A winchman reached the casualty who appeared exhausted but unharmed and the helicopter returned to the landing site on the north pier.

Rachel Thomas, RNLI Deputy Launch Authority stated:

'This incident was a multi agency tasking to a report of a person in difficulty in the water off the small side of Aberavon Beach. Open water swimming is an increasingly popular sport which needs to be undertaken with extreme caution. Local knowledge and the correct equipment is key. It is important that you check the tide times before swimming and let others know where and for how long you will be swimming and always carry a means of calling for help.'

The crew arrived back at the lifeboat station at 9.26am, washed down the lifeboat and made ready for service.


For more information please contact Kirstee David, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on [email protected] or or Claire Elshaw Regional Media Officer on 07468 353 082 or [email protected] Alternatively, call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or email [email protected].

Port Talbot RNLI

Port Talbot RNLI crew recovering following the incident

RNLI Port Talbot

A Coastguard rescue helicopter also took part in the search

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.