Rescue round-up: August 2022

Find out about some of the recent rescues that RNLI lifesavers have been responding to across our nations during the month of August.

Collage of photos from recent incidents including Aberavon RNLI Lifeguards, Poole RNLI, RNLI Systems Technician Euan Noble, Tobermory RNLI and Wells RNLI.

Photo: RNLI

Middle photo: Aberavon RNLI Lifeguards. Clockwise from top left: Poole RNLI, RNLI Systems Technician Euan Noble, Tobermory RNLI and Wells RNLI.

As we approach the end of the summer season, RNLI lifesavers around the UK and Ireland have been as busy as ever. Take a few moments to catch-up on just some of the shouts that crews and lifeguards have responded to over the past couple of weeks...

Wells RNLI

Wells lifeboat crew had a busy bank holiday Friday when they were first tasked by the Coastguard to assist a family who were cut off by the incoming tide on Scolt Head Island. The lifeboat arrived on scene and found two adults and a child stranded on a sand bar. The family were taken safely ashore by the lifeboat to the other side of the Brancaster channel.

The crew were then tasked to assist the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service who were attending a fire caused by a disposable BBQ in the same vicinity. Wells RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was carried by the tractor and trailer to the low water launch location in Holkham Bay to head to the emergency. With the fire distinguished and personnel safely ashore, the lifeboat was stood down and returned to station.

Greg Hewitt, Deputy Launching Authority, says: ‘Knowing the tide times is essential when out on our coastline. People need to be back on the mainland four hours before high tide otherwise there is a severe danger of being cut off as this family were today. Fortunately, the Coastguard was contacted, and we were able to reach them in good time.’

Exmouth RNLI

Exmouth RNLI lifesavers attended three separate taskings yesterday. The first was when crew from the inshore lifeboat launched to reports of a kite surfer in distress in a joint tasking with Exmouth lifeguards. The casualty was quickly located, and the lifeguards took the casualty onboard their rescue watercraft and safely back to shore.

The second tasking was to a 5m sailing boat with engine failure that was unable to make progress and drifting off the coast of Exmouth Seafront. The crew effected a tow, and the boat was taken to the River Exe where it was safely anchored.

Then final call was a missing child on Pole Sands. After an extensive search the crew were stood down when it was established that the individual had returned home and was safe and well.

Valentia RNLI

Crew from Valentia RNLI recently launched the all-weather lifeboat to the aid of two adults adrift at the mouth of Cuas Crom Harbour. The two adults were located by the lifeboat crew on an inflatable and were safely returned back to Cuas Crom Pier.

Aberavon RNLI Lifeguards

RNLI lifeguards on Aberavon Beach saved a man’s life after he collapsed while cycling.

First-year Lifeguard Joseph Morris was first to arrive on scene, closely followed by Lifeguard Ethan Lee and Senior Lifeguard Sophie Phillips, who came with the first aid trauma bag. Joseph performed initial checks and found the casualty was unresponsive and not breathing, so the team commenced cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

The ambulance arrived and the casualty was handed over. During a debrief, the paramedics told the lifeguards that their quick response and effective CPR had helped save the man’s life.

Tobermory RNLI

Just 24 hours after hosting their Lifeboat Day for the first time in 3 years, Tobermory lifeboat crew were paged by the coastguard following the report of a yacht aground on rocks close to Salen harbour. The vessel had grounded some hours earlier and was failing to hold with its anchor, so was at risk of being blown further on to the rocks.

The crew swiftly launched their Severn class lifeboat and proceeded at top speed to the reported location. On arrival the yacht had managed to re-float and its crew was motoring to Tobermory. The lifeboat was stood down by the Coastguard and returned to station.

Poole RNLI

Poole RNLI volunteers also had a busy final day of the bank holiday weekend with three call outs. The first was to a vessel with steering failure at the harbour entrance. The lifeboat arrived on scene and transferred a crewmember on-board, acting swiftly a tow line was attached and the vessel was towed up the harbour.

Later that day, the lifeboat was launched after a report of two people in the water from a capsized dinghy. One of the casualties had been recovered from the water and was in a sailing dingy being towed behind the harbour boat. The second casualty, a child, had also been recovered from the water from a passing rib when the vessel had initially capsized. The crew performed casualty care checks and reunited the casualties before taking them back to Salterns Marina.

The final shout came in the evening when the Coastguard had received multiple 999 calls that two paddleboarders had been separated from their boards and were clinging to a buoy. As the light was fading fast and there was a strong tide, there was an urgent search involving the Atlantic, D class and the Coastguard Search and Rescue Helicopter, with Poole Coastguards searching shoreside.

After 20 minutes news came through that thankfully the paddleboarders had been found safe and ashore and all assets were stood down. Volunteer Helm, Dave Riley, says: ‘The members of the public that dialled 999 did exactly the right thing as it could have been a different story, with the darkness approaching and roaring tide, so thank you to them for their vigilance.’

Portrush RNLI Lifeguards

RNLI Systems Technician Euan Noble, who’s normal job role sees him maintaining lifeguard equipment, was enjoying some surfing at Portrush’s East Strand earlier this month when he spotted two children caught in a rip current.

As an experienced surfer with knowledge of the local risks, Euan could see the Lifeguard Team responding from the beach but based on his proximity to the casualties he knew he could reach the children first, so he quickly paddled around to them.

RNLI Lifeguard Luca radioed Lifeguards Michael and Jenna, who were out on a paddle board exercise. Euan had managed to pull the young girl out of the rip current and onto his own surfboard, while the girl’s brother had got himself up onto the rocks, the three of them waited there until Michael and Jenna joined them on rescue boards. Lifeguards Michael and Jenna carried out casualty care for some minor injuries before returning the children safely back to shore.

Michael says: ‘I’m proud of our RNLI team, that includes my lifeguarding colleagues and our staff, in yesterday’s rescue that was Euan who knew what to do to support us.’

Read more RNLI rescues

Thank you to Lifeboat Press Officers John Thorogood, Anne-Marie Clark, Justine Sykes, Sam Jones, and Michelle Curran and to Media Engagement Placement, Kristin Bews, for their press releases about these rescues.

You can help share safety messages to keep people safe from our website, or read more real life stories from across the UK and Ireland on the RNLI News and Media Centre.