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Bring flares whatever the weather, says RNLI

RNLI Mumbles yacht tow

West Country and Wales lifeboat volunteers have urged boaters to bring flares “whatever the weather”.

Ilfracombe lifeboat volunteers were called one day in late June to join The Mumbles RNLI in helping a motor cruiser that was struggling with hydraulic problems and two yachts in trouble in Oxwich Bay, on the Gower Peninsula.

One of the yachts could not be steered due to rudder problems and the crew of the other was suffering from seasickness.

Ilfracombe RNLI volunteers brought two of the seasick crew aboard the all-weather lifeboat, and then towed the larger yacht to Swansea Marina.

RNLI Ilfracombe Coxswain Andrew Bengey says, “What this incident demonstrated was the importance of looking at the forecast before taking a boat out to check whether the conditions are suitable.

“Whatever the weather, it is also important for people going sailing to bring flares and VHF radios so that if they do get into trouble, they are able to call for help.”

The Mumbles all weather lifeboat arrived in Oxwich Bay, took one of their seasick crew off and left two of its crew onboard to assist with the boat. The Mumbles lifeboat towed the cruiser to Swansea Marina.

Tim Conway Lifeboat Operations Manager at The Mumbles says, “It’s particularly unusual to have so many calls in such a short time which is why we’re in need of assistance from our flank station in North Devon. We would urge anyone taking to the sea this summer to ensure they have all the safety equipment they need. The skippers of the casualty vessels all had the right kit for the job including life jackets, VFH radio and flares.”

The image shows the motor cruiser being towed and is courtesy of the RNLI and M Jones.

Jul 11, 2019