Saturday, 22 August 2009

RNLI Search Continues for Missing Boy Swept off Porthcawl Breakwater

Porthcawl RNLI Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat ‘Rose of the Shires’ was launched at 18:35 on Friday evening (21 August) following reports that a young male had been washed off the town’s breakwater by waves.

With the incident close to the lifeboat station volunteer crew were on scene within minutes; after a local fisherman alerted the lifeboat crew to the boy in difficulty in the sea off Porthcawl breakwater. The volunteer crew immediately commenced a coordinated search of the breakwater, harbour and Porthcawl coastline.

RNLI Senior helmsman Carl Evans from Porthcawl entered the water at the scene in an effort to rescue the casualty prior to the launch of the lifeboat, but this unfortunately proved unsuccessful as the youth disappeared in the waves. Once launched with its four volunteer crew, helmsman Carl was brought aboard the lifeboat and continued the search.

Porthcawl RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew were joined in the search by the volunteer crew’s of an RNLI all-weather lifeboat from Mumbles and inshore lifeboat from Atlantic College. Swansea Coastguard, who coordinated the search and rescue efforts, called in all emergency services, including Rescue Helicopter 169 from RAF Chivenor, a Police Helicopter and a privately owned local boat. Local lifeguards, police, ambulance and fire service personnel also arrived on scene to provide assistance.

Coastguard rescue teams and Porthcawl RNLI lifeboat crew searched the sea and coastline throughout the night. Sea conditions at the time the search began were reported to have been moderate to rough with a higher than average high tide on the evening of Friday 21 August.

At midday (Sat 22 Aug) the search by lifeboat crew and local lifeguards continues.

Commenting on the search and rescue efforts
Porthcawl RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Ian Stroud, says:

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the boy at this extremely difficult time. Our volunteer lifeboat crew have been searching all night and are working on a rota basis of four crew to man the lifeboat in two-hour shifts, this is to ensure they have time to rest and keep their energy levels up. It is, sadly, more than likely that our search has now moved into its recovery phase.”


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