Following a request from the crew of Barry Dock Lifeboat the Coastguard paged the crew of Porthcawl’s RNLI inshore lifeboat to assist in the rescue of a 22 foot yacht that had run aground following engine failure with two people aboard at Llantwit Major on Wednesday May 1st.
Barry’s RNLI all weather lifeboat had been first paged to the rescue in order that it would hopefully be able to tow the yacht back to the safety of Barry Dock for repairs. However once on scene the coxswain realised that the sea around the stranded yacht was too shallow for them to get their larger lifeboat in close so a request for assistance was radioed to Swansea Coastguard. Porthcawl’s ‘D’ class inshore lifeboat ‘Jean Ryall’ was launched with three volunteer crew aboard at 17:00 hours. The nine mile passage to Llantwit Major took 24 minutes in force 4 to 5 westerly winds and a moderate sea.
Once on scene both crews organised the rescue of the two people on board the yacht who had become very cold. With its ability to work in shallow water ‘Jean Ryall’ helmed by Chris Missen, was able to go alongside the yacht and put crewman Ross Purchase onboard to assess the situation. The two casualties were then boarded onto the lifeboat and taken ashore to waiting coastguards who treated them for cold and transported them to Barry.
With the casualties safely ashore the RNLI’s two lifeboats secured the yacht and waited for the incoming tide to float her. The inshore lifeboat was then used to put a crew member from Barry onto the yacht and a tow line was set up between the casualty and Barry’s larger lifeboat. With the tide rising the yacht was successfully floated and towed to the safety of Barry Dock.
Porthcawl’s D class lifeboat was then free to return to station. The three crew onboard, Chris Missen Helmsman, Ross Purchase and Nathan Evans arrived back in Porthcawl at 19:45 following almost three hours at sea.
Chris Missen said, ‘This was an excellent example of how the two completely different lifeboats can work together for the successful rescue of both the people on board and the vessel itself. The ‘D’ class is the smallest of the RNLI’s fleet of lifeboats and with ‘Jean Ryall’ having been with us almost a year to the day she has proved the RNLI’s decision to place a second lifeboat at Porthcawl to be very wise and reassuring for all sea users around our area’.