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Santa and Crew leave Christmas fair fundraiser to rescue capsized dinghy

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew from Aberystwyth were busy manning stalls at their Christmas fair when the pagers went off at approximately 11:15am on Saturday (9th Dec) alerting them to a dinghy that was capsized just off the harbour entrance.

The crew quickly assembled at the lifeboat station, and were informed that a sailing dinghy from a local sailing club had capsized, but the occupants were safely ashore. The boat had lost some of its equipment and fittings usually used to help in re-righting. The RNLI lifeboat ‘Spirit of Friendship’ was quickly on scene and found the vessel to be upturned with the mast caught on the rocky sea bed area known as the trap.

The crew were able to secure ropes to the dinghy and roll it back upright, where they then towed it back to the harbour and returned it to its owners.

The crew quickly rehoused the boat and returned to Aberystwyth Bandstand where the Christmas with the RNLI craft fair was still taking place. Santa and Stormy stan had left the bandstand to assist with the rescue but soon realised the crew had it well in hand and returned to the fair.

This is the second year the station has run the festive fundraising event, which included a winter BBQ, Santas Grotto, local craft stalls, raffle and carol singing by two local choirs and general merriness. The exact amount raised is still being finalised, but the day seems to have been a great success.

Nick Thompson, volunteer helm at Aberystwyth said “Whilst the lifeboat was launching a concerned member of the public also rang the station to report the capsize. Normally the station is not manned, so we would always recommend that people phone 999 and ask for the Coastguard if they see someone in trouble”

RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Paul McCann, 07787785614 or Danielle Rush, Divisional Media Relations Manager (Wales and West) on 07786 668829 or 01745 585162. Alternatively contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789.
Santa and Stormy stan leaving aberystwyth bandstand to assist with rescue

RNLI/Paul McCann

Santa and Stormy stan leaving aberystwyth bandstand to assist with rescue
Casualty vessel being towed back into Aberystwyth Harbour

RNLI/Paul McCann

Casualty sailing dinghy being returned to harbour

RNLI/Paul McCann

Santas grotto awaiting his return

RNLI/Paul McCann

Some local craft stalls at the event

RNLI/Paul McCann

RNLI shop stand at craft fair.

RNLI/Paul McCann

Santa and Stormy stan running back to bandstand

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 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