Ferryside Lifeboat has taken final delivery of its hovercraft today. While out on trials with the manufacturer Keith Smallwood of Vortex Hovercraft, the crew received a phone call regarding a quad bike that had sunk deep into mud on Llansteffan beach.
The hovercraft was used to ferry 4 crew from Ferryside to Llansteffan to assist. Coxswains Andy Morgan, Mike Utting, Matt Roth and Senior Crew Simon Lamble attended with shovels and rope to help the owner recover the vehicle. The experience of Coxswain Andy Morgan in particular was invaluable having bogged an 70t Challenger tank in the past!
During a successful first day in Ferryside, Wales’s first rescue hovercraft has demonstrated how it significantly extends the capabilities of Ferryside Lifeboat as a rescue service for the Three Rivers community.
Ferryside Lifeboat was paged at 3.37pm and asked to assist three walkers that had been trapped by the incoming tide. The Lifeboat launched within 9 minutes with Anthony, Simon Guy and Rob Harley on board and made it's way to the reported area. The walkers were located swiftly and recovered onto the boat - along with their dog. Llansteffan Mobile Coastguard unit then met the Lifeboat on Llansteffan beach to help the walkers safely to shore, the Lifeboat then returning to base and made ready for service by 5.30pm.
Ferryside Lifeboat was paged at 2.18pm to respond to reports of a swimmer in distress off St Ishmael. The crew of Anthony Rees, Richard Jones, Mike Hackfort, Dave Atkinson and Mark Lucas responded within minutes, but by the time they'd reached the area it appeared that the swimmer had exited the water themselves. The crew carried out a sweep of the beach to be sure there were no casualties in difficulty and then returned to station
Whilst recovering to boat, the coastguard called tasking the boat to assist a fishing vessel with a fouled prop that was adrift. The boat set to the water immediately, finding the fishing boat within minutes. The lifeboat then hooked up a tow and pulled the fishing vessel back to Ferryside so that they could attach to a mooring.
Whilst the lifeboat was towing the fishing boat, it received a third shout to help an overturned jetski off Llansteffan. The fishing boat was, by then, close to Ferryside and so it dropped anchor whilst the lifeboat was diverted to help the jetski. The crew checked on the casualty, and recovered them and the jetski back to Llansteffan safe and well. The lifeboat then returned to the fishing vessel and towed to a mooring.
All in all, a busy afternoon for Ferryside Lifeboat.
River Towy sandbars
The crew was called on a rising tide around 7pm to assist a casualty on the stuck on a sandbar in the middle of the river Towy. The mud-boat was launched to assist with two crew on-board and several shore-crew in attendance. Casualty recovered safely to Ferryside.
Green Castle Corner
The Lifeboat was called around 3pm to search the river Towy for a vulnerable person who had not returned from a walk in the morning. Both boats were launched on an ebbing tide into cold foggy conditions. Stood down after the person was found at home, and both boats slowly made their way back to the station in difficult conditions due to lack of navigable water.
Mouth of the river Gwendraeth
Early start on Sunday morning. The lifeboat was called at 08:41 to a vessel drifting in the Gwendraeth with the outgoing tide. The vessel was found to have come off its mooring and was located on Salmon scar. The lifeboat towed the vessel back to Ferryside where it was secured on the lifeboat's mooring for the owner to collect.
River Taf around Laugharne
Paged at 16:17 to a report of an adult with a young child who had become stuck in deep mud north of Laugharne in the river Taf on an incoming tide. Crew were to launch both boats to a grid reference with immediate urgency due to the rising water levels. Stood down after casualties managed to free themselves and get to shore.
Paged by Coastguard after a report of kayakers in difficulty in fading light conditions. Kayakers made their way to shore, lifeboat stood down.
St Ishmael's Scar
HM Coastguard requested the launch of The Freemason to investigate reports of people stranded on Salmon Scar.
Coxn Mike Utting took charge of the lifeboat and, along with Crew Rob Harley and Glyn Jones made best possible speed to the target area.
Once on scene, it was discovered that the people in question were in fact fishing and were confirmed perfectly safe and well.
The boat was then stood down.
We were paged by the coastguard at 7.51pm to assist with the recovery of a yacht aground on Tywyn Point. The boat was launched within 8 minutes and quickly located the yacht. Liaising with Burry Port Mobile Coastguard and Burry Port Lifeboats, we accompanied the yacht to Towy Boat Club, setting out a low water course to ensure there was sufficient depth. Whilst the yacht suffered engine failure en route, Burry Port Lifeboat were able to attach a tow line - and the vessel and crew reached it's destination safely.
Paged by Milford Haven coastguard at 12.14pm to assist a yacht that had run aground off Wharley Point. Launched within 6 minutes and located the vessel off Tywyn Point on Cefn Sidan. A swiftly falling tide meant there was little water in which to operate but, liaising with Burry Port Mobile Coastguard, we were able to ensure that the boat was safely secured and that the crew were able to get ashore.
Paged at 2.57pm to assist a speed boat with engine problems at Scotts bay. Andy Morgan, Rob Harley and Pete Bailey had the boat on the water in 9 minutes and were able to tow the boat to safety.
Tasked by Coastguard to assist refloating a boat in Carmarthen Bay at high tide.
Tasked by Milford Haven Coastguard at 10.30 to attend to a boat run aground in Carmarthen Bay on an outgoing tide. Launched the main lifeboat in low water and recovered one crew member back to Ferryside shore, with the help of our smaller 'Mud Boat' - the other crew member electing to stay with the boat until high tide. Extremely low water meant a very slow and cautious return to base.
River Towy Estuary
The lifeboat was tasked by the Coastguard to assist a stranded/lost Kayaker in very difficult conditions, zero visibility and a rapidly receding tide. Crew members Anthony Rees, Mat Roth and Rob Harley attended and the kayaker was found safe and well and taken to Ferryside.
Thanks to Burry Port Coast Guard, Llanstephan Cg and Tenby RNLI who were also tasked.
Called to fishing vessel beached in the middle of the estuary at low tide. Made contact with crew and confirmed all ok, and was subsequently stood down.
Green Castle Wood
Ferryside Lifeboat was called to assist a boat with engine failure south of Green Castle Wood. The lifeboat was already on the water, carrying out a demonstration at Carmarthen Quay for the River Festival. The crew immediately left the display and made full speed to the reported location. They were able to quickly attach a line to the boat and tow it to safety.
Three people reported to be stranded in water. Ferryside Lifeboat was tasked alongside Llansteffan Coastguard to help and lifeboat was launched within 7 mins. Three people safely reached the shore and were met by the coastguard and lifeboat crew.
Paged at 17.32 to assist a jetski adrift off Kidwelly. Launched within 8 minutes and made contact with the Jetski, recovering it to the Caravan Park.
Paged at 17:55, three children and one adult in kayaks reported missing between Carmarthen and Ferryside, triggering multi-agency response. Lifeboat launched to conduct search of river, casualties found in the meantime, stood down.
Paged at 19:13 to vessel aground on Pendine Sands. Casualty airlifted by Rescue 187. Low water launch, vessel towed to safety, RTB at 23:00.
Vessel sent DSC distress call, called during training to investigate.
17:05 reports of two persons in distress after trying to cross the estuary at low tide. Rescue 169 helicopter also in attendance.
Paged at 19:21, walkers stuck on cliffs cut off by the tide near Wharley point, rescued two and taken back to Llansteffan beach.
Three Rivers estuary
Lifeboat and mudboat searching the lower reaches of the Three Rivers Estuary at low tide.
Called by Coastguard late afternoon to investigate object spotted in water near Kidwelly quay.
Lifeboat searching river Towy from Ferryside to Carmarthen.
Search for 11 year old boy with shorecrew on riverbanks and mudboat in Carmarthen, lifeboat conducting search of river.
Search and Rescue – Lifeboat launched late afternoon after reports of child fallen into Towy in Carmarthen.
Paged at 15:36, unmanned dinghy drifting between Wharley Point and Laugharne. Stood down