Five Shouts in Five Days for Cullercoats RNLI
Cullercoats Lifeboat crew have been called out every day since Wednesday this week, totalling five shouts in five days.
This busy period began on Wednesday (25th September) when the Cullercoats crew were diverted from exercise to assist a fishing vessel that had collided with an anchored ship off Cullercoats Bay. Blyth Lifeboat was also tasked to assist but, unfortunately, even with both lifeboats' salvage pumps, the vessel could not be saved and sank. Cullercoats crew brought the skipper of the vessel safely on board the lifeboat. The skipper was taken back to North Shields by another fishing vessel, where he was met by the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade (TVLB).
On Thursday 26th September, Cullercoats crew were tasked, alongside Tynemouth RNLI and TVLB, at 10:52pm, to search for a yacht broken down somewhere off the River Tyne. The crew of the yacht did not know their exact location and had called for assistance on a mobile phone. A search commenced between the North Tyne Pier and St Mary's Island, with Cullercoats Lifeboat locating the boat a number of miles off Whitley Bay approximately 30 minutes later. They established a tow and took the boat back to Royal Quays Marina, arriving at 1am, where they met with the TVLB. The TVLB spoke with the crew of the yacht and found that they had very little experience of sailing, no safety equipment on board (such as VHF radio, lifejackets or distress flares), and the yacht was barely in a seaworthy state. Given these factors, the men are extremely fortunate to have come out of this incident without a more serious outcome. Always carry a reliable means of calling for help, multiple options if possible, and we advise water-users to wear lifejackets for their own safety.
On Friday 27th September, Cullercoats crew were paged at 6:06pm, as a woman had entered the sea after her dog. They were stood down shortly afterwards when it was established that both were out of the water and safe. Although we are unclear on the full circumstances surrounding this job, we urge people not to enter the water after their dogs. Should your dog be in difficulty, please do not attempt a self-rescue, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. We rescue animals as well as people!
On Saturday 28th September, Cullercoats crew were paged at 12:05pm, as two kayakers were seen to be in difficulty approximately one quarter of a mile of Cullercoats Bay. The lifeboat launched quickly and discovered the kayakers were ok, though struggling slightly against the wind, so took them on board to help them back into the harbour.
On Sunday 29th September, Cullercoats crew were paged at 4:12am to reports of two people cut off by the tide on St Mary's Island. The lifeboat crew launched soon after and located the casualties, who were cold but otherwise fine. They brought them safely back to Cullercoats Lifeboat Station, where they were met by Blyth Coastguard, who kindly returned them to their vehicle.
This morning's shout was the 30th for Cullercoats RNLI this year. Overall, in 2018, Cullercoats RNLI had a total of 24 shouts.
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.