At 18:10 on Saturday evening 8th July Porthcawl RNLI volunteer crew rescued a fisherman cut off by the rising tide just as the waves started to break over the surface of the outcrop of rocks at the popular fishing location of The Deeps, Ogmore by Sea.
The crew who were on exercise aboard the RNLI ‘D’ class lifeboat, ‘Jean Ryall’, were patrolling the shore line several miles east of the station in the Southerndown area. They were conscious that there was a large tide due in early evening and that this posed a potential risk to people getting cut off along our coast. As they made their way back west towards Ogmore by Sea they spotted a fisherman waving to them for assistance.
Helmsman Chris Missen briefed his fellow crew as to the way they would have to carry out their approach through the rocky area. Whilst crew member Sam Williams set the anchor crewman Chris Page entered the water and swam to the outcrop to help support the fisherman who by now was getting wet as the waves were breaking on the rocks. Chris Missen said, ‘We were able to get alongside and close enough to the rocks so that the casualty was able to jump into the lifeboat, then we did a second approach and picked up our crew member Chris Page. All safely aboard we then proceeded to Ogmore by Sea beach and safely landed the casualty. Interestingly although our casualty was an experienced fisherman who had planned his days fishing he had misread the tide tables and not allowed for British Summer Time which had thrown his timings out by one hour. Had we not seen him when we did and with another hour of a rising tide he would certainly have been washed off the rocks by the swell and into the sea’.
Lifeboat Operations Manager at Porthcawl, Philip Missen MBE said, ‘This was a timely exercise that turned into a very successful rescue. We have powerful tides along the south Wales coast and whilst our casualty had made an innocent error in reading the tide times our planned exercise proved to be of good timing, especially for this experienced fisherman. I would urge all sea users and beach walkers to always check the tide times and keep a watch on an incoming tide to ensure a safe day at the coast’.