Volunteer Weston RNLI crew launch to join other emergency services in a search after reports of calls for help heard

17 November 2018

A late evening call on Friday 16 November led to the RNLI crew searching for a person potentially in danger. Coastguard Rescue Teams (CRTs) from Weston and Burnham, along with the hovercraft from the Burnham Area Rescue Boat (BARB) organisation were also involved in the operation.

The volunteer RNLI crew’s pagers sounded just before 8pm when the launch request was received from Milford Haven Coastguard. Searches by the two CRTs and BARB had not found anything of concern after more than an hour searching at the entrance to the River Axe and along the shoreline.

Due to the tide being low, the Weston D class lifeboat Anna Stock was launched to join the search with 4 crew members aboard. She was transported via the low water route around the walkway at Marine Lake to the launch point.

The lifeboat crew quickly arrived on scene and launched several white parachute flares along the shoreline to illuminate the area which aided visibility for the search teams. After a further 2 hours of extensive searches were concluded, nothing was found and they were stood down. The lifeboat then returned to the boathouse where it was cleaned, refuelled and made ready for service by 10:15pm.

Mike Buckland, Lifeboat Operations Manager of the Weston lifeboat station said: ‘We believe that this was a false alarm with good intent. In co-operation with our Coastguard and BARB colleagues, we conducted a thorough search of an extended search area before satisfying ourselves that nothing of concern could be identified. Our volunteers are always ready to respond 24 hours a day, seven days a week for every emergency that we are tasked with’.

If you believe you see or hear someone in danger at the coast, always dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.