Wednesday, 30 July 2014


A man has been rescued from the sea in Oxwich Bay, Gower this evening after his kayak capsized and sank.

Swansea Coastguard received a 999 call at 8.35 pm via a member of the public who had met a kayaker who had paddled to shore to raise the alarm. His friend’s kayak had capsized and then sunk and he was now in the water. He was not wearing a buoyancy aid. Another kayaker had attempted to tow the kayaker whose vessel had capsized to shore but quickly had to abandon this attempt and gave him his buoyancy aid.

Meanwhile, Swansea Coastguard requested the Horton RNLI inshore lifeboat to launch and sent the Oxwich Coastguard Rescue Team to the scene. The lifeboat quickly found the kayaker who was still in his boat safe and well. They searched for the second kayaker in the bay for 20 minutes and were eventually able to hear his calls for help and rescue him from the water as the light was fading.

Swansea Coastguard’s Marc Lancey says:

“We were very relieved that the lifeboat was able to find the man in the water before darkness fell. He was wearing a grey t-shirt and grey buoyancy aid and was therefore difficult to locate in the sea.

“If you are going kayaking, always wear a buoyancy aid. Take at least a couple of means of calling for help with you. A VHF radio is ideal backed up by mini marine flares and a mobile phone sealed inside a plastic bag.”

Monday, 28 July 2014


Two fishermen are recovering this evening after spending the day at sea in a liferaft. They had been fishing 12 miles east of Sunderland when their vessel appeared to hit a submerged object and sank so quickly that they were unable to make a distress call. Their liferaft floated free of their vessel, as it is designed to do, and the pair were able to climb on board.

At 4.40 pm, the Dutch yacht ‘Jager’ came across the fishermen in their liferaft. They took the two men on board their boat and contacted Humber Coastguard to inform them of what had happened. The Coastguard requested the Hartlepool RNLI Lifeboat to launch and they picked the two men up from the yacht and brought them to shore.

Mike Puplett, Humber Coastguard Watch Manager said:

“Both of the fishermen are now safe and well, although a little shaken by their ordeal. We’d like to thank the Dutch yacht ‘Jager’ which rescued the men and went out of their way to ensure their safety.

“The fishing vessel’s liferaft was a life saver today and this incident highlights how important it is to ensure that liferafts are properly maintained and able to float free of the boat should the worst happen. Fishermen should wear personal flotation devices at all times whilst on deck. Even if the liferaft floats free, getting into one is no mean feat, especially if the weather is more volatile than today’s relatively calm seas.

Although the liferaft has been drifting for nine hours, we are still hopeful that we will be able to find the wreckage of the boat using our search and rescue information system (SARIS) which is a computer programme that allows us to plot the drift of vessels. The MCA’s counter pollution branch and the Marine Accident Investigation Branch have been informed.

Sunday, 27 July 2014


Two people have been rescued after they were thrown from their boat which then started spinning dangerously around them in the water.

Dover Coastguard received a 999 call just after 9am this morning from a member of the public who spotted the out of control RHIB with nobody in it just off shore from St. Leonards, East Sussex. The caller then reported that two people were in the water clinging on to a buoy about a ¼ mile off shore as the RHIB circled near them.

The Hastings Coastguard Rescue Team plus the Hastings inshore RNLI lifeboat were sent to the scene. When they got there, they found the two people had managed to swim back to shore where they were met and looked after by the Coastguard rescue officers and an ambulance crew. It doesn’t appear that they suffered any injuries.

The RHIB meanwhile was still circling just off shore but the crew of the lifeboat managed to bring it under control and cut off the engine.

Nicola Goodban, Watch Manager at Dover Coastguard, said:

“This Sunday morning boat trip could easily have ended in tragedy. It appears the driver of this RHIB was not wearing a kill cord, which meant when the people on board were thrown into the water, there was no way to stop the engine and bring the boat under control.

“We always recommend you wear a kill cord when out on a power boat. One end of the kill cord is attached near the throttle and the other should go around the helmsman's leg. You should always check your kill cord works at the start of each day or session and remember to renew it regularly.”

Saturday, 26 July 2014


People heading out on their boats this summer are being reminded of how to raise the alarm if they get into trouble.

The advice comes as a man in his 50s was injured on a boat just off Worm’s Head at Rhossili. Swansea Coastguard received a call at around 3.30pm reporting that a man was complaining of back pain. The Rhossili Coastguard Rescue Team, the RAF rescue helicopter from Chivenor and Port Eynon RNLI beach lifeguards were sent to the scene. The injured man was brought back to shore by the boat, where he was then airlifted to Morriston hospital by the RAF helicopter.
Marc Lancey, Watch Officer at Swansea Coastguard, said:
“It appears this man was injured after the boat he was in had crashed down over a wave. We weren’t immediately contacted by this vessel, so we’d like to remind boaters that they should get in touch with us if they are hurt or get into difficulty. Carrying a VHF radio on your vessel is vital and VHF DSC (Digital Selective Calling) is strongly recommended, as you can send a distress alert along with your exact position to the Coastguard with one touch of the button.
“We’ve also seen a number of other incidents on this summer Saturday, including groups of people becoming cut off by the tide at Cefn Padraig Sands, Llanelli and Mumbles Middle Island. It’s best to check the tide times before you head out for a walk to make sure you don’t become stranded. If you do, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

Friday, 25 July 2014


They say it's good to share – but a rescue in the Humber earlier today proved that doesn't apply to lifejackets.

Humber Coastguard Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre received a call just after 10am this morning reporting two people in the water after their powered canoe had capsized just west of the Humber Bridge.

The Hull Coastguard Rescue Team, Humber Rescue Inshore Lifeboat and the police all attended and found one of the boat’s occupants clinging to his companion, who was the only one wearing a life jacket.

The RAF search and rescue helicopter from Leconfield lifted the very cold canoeists aboard; they were put ashore and taken to Hull Royal Infirmary, where they were confirmed as well.

Humber Coastguard Watch Manager, Graham Dawson, said: “Anyone taking to the water should always wear their own properly maintained life jacket or buoyancy aid.  If you capsize or fall in, there is never a guarantee that you will be able to find an object to cling to.  The other occupant of the canoe was fortunate that he was able to hang on to his friend while they awaited rescue, but this can quickly become exhausting – especially in cold water. “


A Coastguard-coordinated rescue in the Bristol Channel last night (Thursday 24th) has underlined the importance of ensuring a vessel is seaworthy and properly equipped before taking to the waves.

Just before midnight, the Swansea Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre were contacted by the police who had received a call from a mariner, accompanied only by his dog, whose 17ft sailing boat had become stranded mid-Channel, just south of Lundy Island, after the outboard motor failed.

Upon further investigation it was discovered that the vessel was one of the least seaworthy that Swansea Coastguards had encountered in a good while: its hull was leaking, the mast was missing, with an old windsurfing rig serving as a poor substitute; the boat had no lights, no VHF radio – the sailor contacted the emergency services on a mobile phone – and his GPS device wasn’t working, so he was unable to give his position.  Coastguards had to use onshore telecommunications beacons to estimate his location to within 30km.

The optimistic voyager, who had also neglected to carry any charts, informed Coastguards that he was en route to the Hebrides, having set out from Instow, North Devon.

Coastguards had to use onshore telecommunications beacons to estimate his position to within 30km.  This enabled them to task the search and rescue helicopter from Chivenor who spent two hours searching for a boat in the dark with no lights on, and just after four in the morning the sailor and canine companion were winched from the boat.   RNLI’s Appledore lifeboat was tasked to recover the vessel from a position 2.5 miles SSW of Lundy so that it was no longer a danger to shipping in the busy Bristol Channel.  The volunteer lifeboat crew returned to station at 0915 in the morning, ready for a full day’s work.

Bernie Kemble, Swansea Coastguard Watch Officer, said: “So many things were wrong with this gentleman’s boat and lack of preparation that the situation was almost comical.  He had taken to sea in what was effectively a leaky fibreglass hull, without even the most basic communications and safety equipment. 

“Thankfully, weather conditions were calm, he was avoided by other vessels in the area and he was able to use the only piece of communications equipment he had to hand – his mobile phone – to raise the alarm.  However, the situation could have been far more serious and he and his dog were lucky that they were rescued promptly. 

“We would remind anyone in trouble at sea or on the coast to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

The sailor and his dog were both reported to be unharmed by their ordeal. 


Glorious sunshine and hot temperatures has seen the Coastguard deal with more than 2,500 incidents in the past month alone.

From 21 June to 21 July this year, there were 2,549 incidents listed on the Coastguard database, ranging from struggling swimmers, cliff fallers to broken down boats and kayakers in difficulty.

Now with the start of the school summer holidays, Coastguards are reminding people of a few top tips to help them stay safe and enjoy their time at the coast.

Richard Martin, Chief Coastguard, said:

“During this recent spell of good weather, we’ve seen a lot of people head to the beautiful UK coastline to enjoy the sunshine. The key thing to remember first of all is that if you see someone in difficulty, or you get into trouble yourself, call 999 immediately and ask for the Coastguard.

“If you are heading out for a swim, remember that even though the sea may look calm on the surface, there is the danger of strong currents underneath. We recommend that you swim at a lifeguarded beach, take note of any warning signs and best to tell someone on the beach what you are doing so they can keep an eye on you.

“Always check tide times before you head out for a walk and away from beach access points so that you can avoid being cut off by the incoming tide.

"When walking along cliff tops, make sure you are wearing suitable footwear and don’t venture too close to the edge. Always keep dogs on a lead.

“If you’re heading out in a boat, canoe, kayak and such like, you should wear an appropriate lifejacket or buoyancy aid.

"The key thing to remember is to have a great time but call us if you need us. You know our number: 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

Coastguard database figures for previous months:
21 May to 21 June 2014 - 2,184 incidents
21 April to 21 May 2014 - 1,692 incidents