Porthcawl’s volunteer crew were tasked to two personal watercraft’s (PWC’s) half way between Porthcawl and Lynmouth. One PWC had suffered steering failure whilst the other was likely to run out of fuel due to the extra strain caused by towing the stricken PWC back to Porthcawl. Sea conditions were moderate/choppy and wind NW force 4.

The Atlantic 85 lifeboat was launched on service and the crew used VHF direction finding equipment to attempt to locate the casualty’s and later received an accurate position which was 6.2Nm south of Porthcawl.

Upon arriving on scene it was apparent the rider of the PWC which had suffered steering failure had been in the water and was suffering the effects of cold water immersion. A tow was set up on the PWC whilst the other PWC was escorted, which was now sounding a low fuel warning. A request was made for our D Class lifeboat to launch to take over the tow and escort the second PWC, in order that the casualty who had been in the water could be brought back more rapidly to the lifeboat station to get warmed up.

Once the tow was transferred to the D Class the Atlantic 85 lifeboat proceeded back to Porthcawl rapidly for the casualty to have a warm shower and hot drink. The Atlantic 85 was then relaunched to meet the D Class out by West Nash Buoy to take over the tow and escort the other PWC back in to Newton.