At 10:33pm on Wednesday 23 August, both Porthcawl RNLI lifeboats Rose of the Shires and Jean Ryall were launched to reports of two teenage girls in the sea in Coney Beach, Porthcawl.

The first lifeboat on scene was the D-Class Jean Ryall, who located the first informant. He informed the crew that the two girls had entered the water about six minutes before and he could no longer see them.

Using the local knowledge of the crew, and the fact that the tide was going out, they commenced a shore line search towards Rhych Point, joined by the crew of the Atlantic 85 lifeboat who started searching towards the Eastern Promenade.

To assist the crew in searching the water in the pitch black of night, a white parachute flare was fired which illuminated the area. Shortly after this the crew of the Jean Ryall saw two persons in the water.

Chris Page, the Helm, made good speed to the persons and instructed two of the crew to jump into the water to assist the casualties. The crew assisted the girls out of the sea, to a safe area away from the water, where they were assessed by the lifeboat crews and local Coastguards.

Once the girls were assessed for any injuries, they were led up the beach to the coastguard vehicle, however one of the girls collapsed on the beach, and was given first aid by the lifeboat crew.

The Coastguard helicopter that was mobilised to help with the search landed on Coney Beach, and the two girls were airlifted to hospital.

Porthcawl RNLI Local Operations Manager, Phillip Missen, MBE, said: ‘This was a difficult rescue in almost zero visibility due to the darkness. The volunteer crew launched within five minutes of being alerted and were on scene quickly. If it was not for their commitment to the RNLI and their seamanship skills the outcome could have been very different. This rescue was a good example of joint working between the RNLI volunteers, Coastguard and Ambulance service.’

Press release from Carl Evans, Porthcawl Lifeboat Press Officer. For further information contact Carl on: 07919227723.

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