ON Saturday morning (26 June) both of RNLI Penarth’s lifeboats launched following a mayday call from a 23ft fishing vessel taking on water near Lavernock Point, an area known for its strong currents.
After arriving on scene, RNLI Penarth’s volunteer crew worked quickly to transfer the four men from the fishing vessel onto the Atlantic 85 lifeboat. Once the casualties were safely ashore at Penarth Lifeboat Station, the volunteer crew began the task of recovering the vessel. But the fishing boat’s condition was so severe that it sank within minutes, before it could be towed to shore.
Arriving at the scene shortly after RNLI Penarth’s crew, RNLI Barry Dock’s all-weather lifeboat stood by ready to provide assistance, while Penarth Coastguard Rescue Team attended on the shore.
Recalling the rescue, RNLI Penarth volunteer helm Hugh Kelsall said:
“When we saw the location of the boat and it being nose down in the water, along with the speed of the dropping tide, our priority was to make sure the people aboard the fishing vessel were recovered safely. Boats taking on water can sink in a matter of minutes or even seconds, and if people end up in the water the situation quickly becomes much more dangerous.
“It’s a great shame when a vessel can’t be recovered, and it can’t have been a nice experience for the fishing boat’s crew. But they did the right thing in calling for help, and thanks to the quick actions of the RNLI crews and the Coastguard, the four men are safe and well.”
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 over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, 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.