Pembrokeshire RNLI volunteers awarded for lifesaving rescue of two divers

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI volunteers from Angle, St Davids and Little and Broad Haven have been presented with meritorious awards for their efforts in rescuing two divers in challenging conditions back in November 2020.

Martin Cavaney

Angle RNLI volunteers are presented with the award by Head of Region Jo Partner

For their display of determination and teamwork in deteriorating weather conditions, Framed Letters of Thanks from the RNLI Chairman have been awarded to all three lifeboat crews.

For their co-ordination under difficult circumstances and steadiness shown on VHF, a signed letter of appreciation from the RNLI’s Operations Director has been awarded to the HM Coastguard duty watch at Milford Haven. The presentation was made by the RNLI’s Head of Wales, West and the Isle of Man region Jo Partner during a ceremony last night at Angle RNLI Lifeboat Station.

The male and female divers were reported overdue from a diving party at Martin’s Haven. Two all-weather lifeboats from St Davids and Angle were called to assist along with the Little and Broad Haven inshore lifeboat. The Coastguard helicopter was also on scene.

Angle and St Davids all-weather lifeboats launched and made best speed towards Martin’s Haven, encountering poor sea conditions with waves up to five metres. Both lifeboats prepared night vision aids and commenced scanning the water for the missing divers.

On arrival at scene Little Haven inshore lifeboat crew were tasked to conduct a coastal search in the vicinity of Martin’s Haven. The all-weather lifeboats were also tasked to conduct controlled planned sea searches in the wider area.

The light and sea conditions deteriorated rapidly, with Little Haven inshore lifeboat working to its maximum capacity.

Just before 6pm, a St Davids RNLI volunteer crew member spotted a potential target in the beam of a searchlight. As the lifeboat approached, one of the divers was seen to be waving for assistance. The lifeboat was brought alongside the divers and both of the casualties were successfully recovered from the sea in a quick and efficient operation despite one of the divers being entangled in the line from their surface marker buoy.

Both were uninjured and recovery took place with both Angle all-weather lifeboat and the rescue helicopter helping to illuminate the scene. The two casualties were then transferred onto Little Haven inshore lifeboat and taken ashore to Martin’s Haven.

Roger Smith, Area Lifesaving Manager said:

‘Thanks to the professionalism of HM Coastguard and RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews, the two divers were located in time to save their lives. I am so proud of the selflessness and determination shown by all involved, and this recognition is very well deserved.’

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For more information, please contact Danielle Rush, RNLI Media Relations Manager in Wales and the North West on 07886 668829. Alternatively, please call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336 789 or email [email protected].

Martin Cavaney

St Davids RNLI volunteers are presented with the award by Head of Region Jo Partner

Martin Cavaney

Little Haven RNLI volunteers are presented with the award by Head of Region Jo Partner

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