Thursday, 24 September 2009

Moelfre RNLI rescue pensioner from the sea

On the same day Moelfre RNLI lifeboat station is named the busiest station in Wales, the station’s volunteer crew were called to rescue a 68-year-old woman, thrown into the water when the vessel she was travelling on capsized. The alarm was raised after one of the station’s volunteer RNLI crew spotted distress flares.

The Moelfre RNLI inshore lifeboat was launched on Wednesday (23 September) to the 18-foot catamaran. The very same day the charity launched its summer 2009 rescue statistics which revealed Moelfre had received the highest amount of call outs in Wales, with 42 launches during June, July and August.

The RNLI inshore lifeboat arrived on scene very quickly, and found a local man in his seventies clinging to the vessel. He immediately notified the RNLI volunteer crew that his female crewmember had entered the sea some 20 minutes earlier. He has lost sight of her when the vessel capsized. The pensioner did not have a VHF radio on to call for help, but had activated the red distress flares he had on board.

Realising the potential seriousness of the incident, RNLI helmsman Vincent Jones immediately requested that the Moelfre RNLI lifeboat was launched to assist in the rescue operation. The lifeboat crew ensured that the man was ok and commenced a search pattern of the area. The 68-year-old female was located within minutes one mile from the incident scene, she was cold and distressed. She was wearing a wetsuit and lifejacket.

The Moelfre RNLI inshore lifeboat crew recovered her into the lifeboat and transferred her to the shore where the Moelfre Coastguard and paramedics were waiting. The RNLI inshore lifeboat then returned to the scene to tow the damaged catamaran to the shore.

Dave Massey
Moelfre RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer said:

‘Thankfully this lady was wearing all the appropriate clothing and carrying safety equipment, and she was found safe and well. The RNLI provides its volunteer lifeboat crews with a high level of search and rescue training which enabled this lady to be located and rescued within minutes.’


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