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Two call outs and wellies galore for Portishead RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

It has been all hands on deck for the volunteers over the last couple of weeks. The Mayday Weekend was a massive success with lots of photos of people wearing their wellies to work showing their support to the RNLI.

Picture below is little Riley who was born on the Saturday 30 April, right in the middle of the Mayday weekend. He had his wellies on when he was just one day and 19 hours old, probably our youngest ever RNLI supporter!  Along with our cake sale on the Monday at the station shop and a collection in Sainsbury’s Portishead the volunteers have raised a fantastic £1,294 enough to kit out a crew member with dry suit, lifejacket and helmet, fantastic support, thank you everyone!

It wasn’t long before the crew were paged on 8th May, at 9.10pm to help two people who were stranded on rocks on Ladye Bay in Clevedon.  On arrival the volunteers saw that it was in fact three people who needed help, two together and one individual.  Working with Clevedon Coastguards the two people were escorted in the dark from the slippery rocks by an RNLI crew member to the Lifeboat who placed them safely on to the steps nearby, where they were met by the Coastguards.  The lifeboat crew remained nearby until the tide had dropped enough for the third person to walk to safety. To download the video click this link

Another call came in on Thursday (12th May) at 1.10pm when a small motor vessel lost power and was blown on to the mud just on the entrance to the River Avon. The two people were but were able to raise the alarm with the Coastguards via their radio. The RNLI crew volunteers launched and once on scene it was clear that they needed the support of the Portishead Coastguard Mud Rescue Team. Moving equipment along the coast to find the safest place to reach the vessel was a challenge but with the help of both Weston and Clevedon Coastguards and the Bristol Port Police, the teamwork paid off.  The Coastguards in full mud rescue equipment deployed their 200mtr lines to reach the vessel and using their stretcher were able to move the couple to the safety of the shore. After they secured the boat ready to refloat later on that evening, they were taken to Portishead to get a well deserved hot meal.

The lifeboat volunteers were paged again to then go and refloat the stricken vessel at 10pm that evening.  After waiting for the highest possible point of tide the crew climbed aboard the motor vessel and were able to secure lines to enable them to pull her to safety and tow her back to Portishead Marina, much to the relief of the owners.  The crew returned to station, cleaned down My Lady Anne and prepared her for the next service call.  All was quiet again at 1.30am as the volunteers returned home.

Although the skipper of the vessel had plenty of boating experience and being well equipped with all their safety equipment the best mariners can get caught out on this treacherous stretch of water.  Always call 999 and ask for the Coastguard if you need help #RespectTheWater

RNLI notes to editors

Photos are

1. Little Riley in his knitted yellow wellies at 1day19hours old.
2. RNLI Volunteers on scene with rock casualties (8.5.16)
3. Mud rescue casualty vessel arrives safely back at Portishead Marina (12.5.16)

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Helen Lazenby, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07800 595995 or the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland