RNLI lifeboats from Porthcawl and The Mumbles were involved in a dramatic rescue operation Thursday afternoon, after a 34ft commercial dive boat with two people on board began taking on water.
The boat from Cardiff was just off Scarweather sands when it got into difficulty. Porthcawl’s Atlantic 85 RNLI lifeboat was first on the scene and found a father and son onboard. The volunteer crew put a salvage pump on to the vessel and began to pumping out the water. Crew member James Kinsella and Joe Missen managed to locate the leak and worked hard to stem the flow of water in cramped conditions in the engine compartment.
The son was rescued and taken on board Porthcawl Lifeboat whilst the father remained on board to offer assistance. Rescue helicopter 169 from RAF Chivenor arrived on scene and dropped a second salvage pump onto the boat as the vessel was taking on water fast.
Joe Missen, RNLI volunteer crewman who was onboard Porthcawl’s lifeboat during the rescue says:
‘The boat was on its way from Cardiff to Swansea when they discovered there was a steady flow of water coming in from the back of the boat. The skipper then called the Coastguard and immediately launched his life raft. He and his son got ready to abandon ship. When we arrived alongside the boat we found it was taking on water quite severely. Two of our volunteer crew were put on board to try and pump away some of the water as soon as possible. It was a difficult situation as the vessel was drifting very close to a sandbank so we needed to begin the towing operation swiftly.”
Following the rescue Mumbles Lifeboat towed the boat to Swansea. Porthcawl lifeboat was then re launched to take the casualties ashore and tow the vessel into Swansea Marina.