Weston RNLI lifeboat crew enjoys sunny Sunday at sea with five call outs
Weston Super Mare volunteer lifeboat crew’s Sunday training session was extended by over seven hours after receiving five call outs.
The day began with the crew launching B class inshore lifeboat Coventry & Warwickshire on regular Sunday training. With the sun shining in Weston bay the local jet skiers set about making good use of the lunch time tide. Shortly after 10.30am the lifeboat crew noticed two jet skis not moving. The crew notified Milford Haven Coastguard that they were going to tow both vessels back into the safety of Knightstone slipway.While the crew had the jet skis under tow a 999 call came into Milford Coastguard, about an orange lift raft that was spotted drifting off Sand Point. The Coastguard promptly paged the lifeboat crew, requesting the D class inshore lifeboat Anna Stock be launched to begin searching the area. The shore crew made the lifeboat ready in good time and launched within 5 minutes of the pagers sounding. They made good speed to Sand Point deciding to start searching from St Thomas Head back towards Sand Point.
Once the Coventry & Warwickshire had completed the tow; they joined the D Class crew in searching for the life raft and quickly located an orange life ring floating ½ mile north of Sand Point. The search was aided by the B class’ larger size, allowing the crew to search a larger area. The lifeboat recovered the life ring from the water confirming with the first informant that this was the orange object they had spotted. Both lifeboats were returned to station to be washed down and refuelled, made ready for service at 12.50pm, handing the life ring over to North Somerset Beach Rangers. They advised that most of the life rings on Weston sea front had been vandalised overnight.
13 minutes later the pagers sounded once again. All the volunteer crew mustered again at the boathouse and launched on service 4 minutes later to reports of two kayakers in trouble off the end of Brean Down. One was reported to be in the water, clinging to his kayak. Both lifeboats headed to the scene, rescuing both kayakers. The crews gave both casualties a check over to make sure no medical assistance was needed once back ashore. The crew recovered the casualties and their kit back to the Anchor Head slipway, handing them over to the shore crew who assisted the kayakers back to their vehicle at Royal Sands car park.
With both lifeboats about to stand down, Milford Haven Coastguard re tasked them to reports of two people in difficulty in the water on Brean beach near the Seagull Pub along with the Burnham on Sea RNLI crew. They arrived on scene in less than 10 minutes. Liaising with Burnham on Sea Coastguard units, it was confirmed that both casualties had made it back ashore with RNLI lifeguards checking the both over for any injuries, and that the lifeboats could stand down once again.
While returning from Brean beach, Milford Haven Coastguard had taken a 999 call from a distressed mother; her 9 year old son had been missing for around one hour and had last been seen on the tideline behind the Grand Pier in Weston Bay. Both lifeboats made good speed to the area, quickly starting a search. Shore crew members collected binoculars and heading down on to the beach to assist the North Somerset Beach Rangers with scanning the crammed tide line and beach. After a 40 minute search the young boy was located by the North Somerset Street Wardens and handed back to his relieved mother. The boats returned to station at 5.30pm and made ready for service again by 6.30pm. The volunteer crew returned home for a delayed Sunday lunch at 7pm.Weston Lifeboat Operations Manager, Rich Spindler MBE, said: ‘This was a busy day for all involved. All the crew worked hard today during the best weather we have had all summer. There is a big sense of achievement buzzing around the boathouse this evening.’
‘I would like to add despite the sun shining and the need to bathe in the sea, once the tide starts going out the mud in the bay becomes a real danger to anyone who attempts walk it, with heat exhaustion or even in some cases heat stroke a possibility.’
Notes to editors
Lifeboats in service at Weston-Super-Mare:
- Atlantic 75 Class Lifeboat named Coventry and Warwickshire
- D-Class Lifeboat named Anna Stock
The station was established in 1882 at the request of the local inhabitants and moved into a new boathouse in 1902. In 2013 the Pier connecting Birnbeck Island to the mainland became too unstable and dangerous. The crew now use a temporary station on the shoreline while waiting for a new permanent home.
To find out more information about Weston-super-Mare lifeboat and for recent events, please log onto our website or contact Glyn Hayes on 01934 824587.
You can also visit www.westonrnli.org.uk .
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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 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.