RNLI Port Talbot Lifeboat volunteers called to first rescue of the year

RNLI Port Talbot volunteers were task by HM Coastguard at 4:03pm to reports of a fishing vessel with two persons on board in difficulties just off the entrance to the river Afan and near to the North Pier

Despite it still being a working day for the majority of our volunteer crew, the response to the first page of the year was immediate with the car park rapidly filling with eager volunteers.

Launching our D-class lifeboat D-848 Craig Morris into a cold, still, golden sunset, the carefully selected crew of some of the most experienced volunteers and helm rapidly launched into the sunset, watched by crowds enjoying the spectacular display of nature’s colouring book.

Making best safe speed to the last reported location of the casualty vessel, Senior Helm Dai Jones carried out a rapid risk assessment once on scene.

Taking into careful consideration the fading light, falling temperature, and both main and axillary engines out of action on the casualty vessel and a commercial barge working in close proximity, the senior helm and experienced crew made the decision that the safest course of action was to tow the vessel to the nearest port of safety, the river Afan.

Once the casualty vessel was safely delivered to the slipway on the river Afan and wellbeing checks completed on the casualties, the crew returned to their launch site to be met by the shore crew to assist with recovery, refuelling, washing and making the lifeboat ready for service.

While this was one of many similar shouts for our experienced volunteer crew, it was the very first for our newest shore crew recruit, Tom Charles. All at RNLI Port Talbot wish Tom the very best on his journey from shore crew to one day qualifying to be boat crew.

This is a very special year for all RNLI volunteers, who are joined together in a kinship of volunteers stretching back to 1824 when the very first lifeboat crews did exactly as ours did this evening.

In the last 200 years there have been hundreds of thousands of launches to save more than 144,000 thousand lives at sea, in all weather conditions, day or night, 365 days a year, and the only thing that makes it possible for the volunteer crews to do this work is the generous donations of our supporters, we are every bit as reliant in 2024 as we were 1824.

Pic. Port Talbot RNLI Launching into the setting sunRNLI/Ceri Jeffreys

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