Teenagers In Trouble Rescued By Holyhead RNLI Crew

Lifeboats News Release

Holyhead RNLI volunteers have praised the actions of a quick-thinking group of teenagers, who raised the alarm when their friends got into trouble in fast-rising tides earlier today.

RNLI/Kiri Chaplin

Holyhead's D-Class and volunteer crew (library photo)

Lifeboat crew pagers sounded at 3.30pm on Wednesday 31 May, requesting the immediate launch of the station’s inshore lifeboat, after reports of two young people in trouble in Penrhos Bay, Holyhead. The pair were part of a group enjoying themselves in the area, and had waded out in reasonably shallow waters, with another friend, with the rest of their group staying on the beach.

But the tide was coming in fast, and caught the three by surprise. The stronger swimmer of the trio managed to swim back to shore and raise the alarm, while the other two clambered onto nearby rocks. With the sea rising higher every minute, they were stranded, unable to get to the safety of the beach, and were struggling with strong winds, a flooding tide and waves crashing around the rocks.

Those on the shore immediately called 999 and asked to speak to HM Coastguard, giving the pair’s location. Holyhead RNLI’s lifeboat pagers were immediately alerted, and the D-class lifeboat Mary and Archie Hooper, with three volunteer crew on board, was launched within four minutes of the initial request.

Despite being concerned for the two in trouble, and wanting to go out to try and help them, HM Coastguard officers strongly advised the group of friends to stay on the shore, as assistance from Holyhead’s crew was on its way. The group heeded the advice and stayed safe on shore.

The lifeboat arrived at the scene a few short minutes after launching. Sea conditions were choppy, with a strong north-easterly wind, and on reaching Penrhos Bay, the two casualties were spotted clinging onto Nimrod Rocks within the bay – rocks that would soon be completely submerged.

On reaching the teenagers, crew immediately took them on board the lifeboat. Both were beginning to suffer from shock and the effects of cold water, and were placed in warm shelter bags, head warmers and casualty lifejackets. After completing a welfare check and gathering more information to pass to HM Coastguard, the lifeboat then took the pair to the shore, where local volunteers from the Holyhead cliff rescue team were waiting, along with the casualties' group of friends. The pair were then taken to nearby Ysbyty Penrhos Stanley to be checked over.

The lifeboat then left the scene, and returned to the station, where she was washed and refuelled ready for any further calls.

Senior ILB Helm Dave Roberts praised the actions of the friends, who raised the alarm quickly, and then followed instructions by HM Coastguard:

‘The actions of the group of friends undoubtedly made all the difference today. Not only did they ask for help immediately, but they then listened to the excellent advice they were given not to go into the water themselves. They could have easily got into trouble, and deserve a huge pat on the back for not putting themselves at risk.’

He added:

‘As we were leaving the area, those rocks were completely covered by the sea, which shows just how close they were to being in real peril.’

Holyhead Lifeboat Operations Manager David Owens said:

‘This afternoon’s call shows just how quickly the tide can come in and overwhelm anyone. We are just glad we were able to get there in time, and stop this incident becoming a tragedy. We’d always advise the public to be very cautious entering the waters around our coast, and stay vigilant at all times.’

For any further information, please contact Vicki Owens, Lifeboat Press Officer for Holyhead Lifeboat Station, on 07531 681409, or email [email protected]

RNLI/Vicki Owens

Penrhos Bay, Holyhead, where Wednesday's incident took place

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.