Tuesday, 30 May 2017
Weston RNLI Volunteers have a busy but successful bank holiday week-end.
In the one week-end there were five shouts and a Lifeboat Parade along the sea front for the team at Weston-super-Mare. At least one life saved and several others rescued.
It started on Thursday when a man tried to swim against the tide at Birnbeck Pier. As so many before him, he could not cope with the rushing water and clung to one of the pier legs for his life. The D Class lifeboat Anna Stock was launched and raced to the scene. The youth was sighted with just his head showing above water. He was rescued and returned to land to be handed over to the Ambulance service.
While the D Class was being readied for service the coastguard rang the station to ask us to launch as a member of the public had seen some people in difficulties in the water around Marine Lake. The D Class was launched and conducted a search around Marine Lake and in front of the Grand Pier. No one was found in trouble so the lifeboat was stood down and returned to station.
The next afternoon the crew were paged for two persons sighted in the water line opposite the Tropicana. The crew assembled and launched the D Class via the low water marine lake route. On reaching the area, the persons were seen to turn back and reach the shore.
In the evening the D Class lifeboat was launched to go to the aid of two people in a small sailing dinghy off the Tropicana. At arrival on scene the dingy was found half sunk. A speedboat which was in the area had arrived before the lifeboat and taken the woman on board as she was very cold. The lifeboat crew asked the speedboat owner to take the lady back to Knightstone harbour while they dealt with the vessel and the male who was still in the water. The lady was landed at Knightstone and taken in care by our shore crew who bought her to the ambulance service as she was obviously very cold. The D Class brought the male back to shore and the Atlantic brought the sailing dingy back in.
On bank holiday Monday the crew were preparing for the annual Lifeboat Pull along the sea front when the LOM was informed by the seafront rangers that a sailing dinghy was apparently in trouble about 3/4 mile off the Tropicana. After consulting the coastguard the crew were paged. Both lifeboats were launched. On arrival at the position, they found it was a Tradewind type sailing dinghy with two persons on board. Both had lifejackets and had a vhf radio on board. There was no wind so they were rowing, hence the poor progress. They were not in distress so both lifeboats stood off and escorted the dinghy back to Knightstone Harbour.
Afterwards the crew and fundraisers paraded along the Weston sea front in the pouring rain raising money for the charity.
Richard Spindler, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Weston said;’ A busy week-end but the crew were ready. This mixture of serious emergencies and genuine calls but no serious problems is common. If anyone ever sees someone in trouble in the water they should ring the coastguard.’