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Burnham-on-Sea RNLI volunteers tasked to assist teenager

Lifeboats News Release

Burnham-on-Sea volunteer crews were paged at 8:39 pm, 30th September, after a teenager was reported stranded in the River Brue.

Shows the Burnham D Class lifeboat preparing to launch at Burnham jetty ¬

RNLI/Mike Lang

Shows the Burnham D Class lifeboat preparing to launch at Burnham jetty ¬

Burnham’s D class lifeboat Burnham Reach was launched quickly, with a short delay while the flood gates at the top of Burnham jetty were unlocked (They had been closed by the environment agency as a precaution because of a forecasted high 12 metre tide).

Once in the water, the volunteer lifeboat crew set off for the River Brue at a safe speed (Bearing in mind it was night and extremely dark). On entering the Brue, a thorough search was conducted on both sides of the river, towards Highbridge. The casualty was located on the bank near to the Apex park. He had been aiding the search by showing a light from his mobile phone. The crew soon ascertained that he was who they were looking for, brought him onto the lifeboat , dressed him with a casualty lifejacket, and took him to the Sailing club beach head. Once landed safely he was given a brief check-over and pronounced none the worse for wear from his ordeal.

Lifeboat Helmsman Marc Smith explained; ‘Apparently the casualty was walking along the river bank, when he suddenly realized he was on a bank surrounded by water and reeds. As it was dark, and not knowing which direction was safe (The high tide had caught him unawares), he sensibly called home for assistance. His mother also sensibly immediately called 999 for the Coastguard, who called the RNLI.’

This link provides more information about coastal walking precautions (although walking a small local river bank may not always be considered coastal):-


Notes for editors

Image with this release - File name: Burnham_reach_launch (RNLI/Mike Lang)

Shows the Burnham D Class lifeboat preparing to launch at Burnham jetty


RNLI Lifeboats at Burnham-on-Sea

A 8.5m Atlantic 85 named Doris Day and Brian plus a smaller 4.95m D class IB1 inflatable named Burnham Reach The station was opened officially on 15th May 2004, but has been operational since December 2003

RNLI media contacts

For more information about this release please telephone Mike Lang, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07889 815860 or email [email protected],

In the absence of the above, contact Emma Haines Regional Media Officer [email protected] Mob: 07866 064437

Alternatively, telephone Amy Caldwell RNLI Public Relations Manager (South) Tel: 07920 818 807, [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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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.