Author: Norma Stockford, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer
Barmouth RNLI Inshore Lifeboat launched in near gale conditions today, 5th September, following a report that two men
were in the water in the old harbour at Aberamffra.
The men had been attempting to row out to their boat in a small tender when they became swamped by a wave and their tender sank. They were in danger of being carried by the outgoing tide and the strong northwesterly Force 7 winds made sea conditions extremely difficult, with high waves and breaking crests even inside the harbour.
A member of the public witnessed their distress and called Holyhead Coastguard who alerted the RNLI. The ILB launched at 3.51 pm and the volunteer crew immediately made their way through the bridge to the old harbour and located the couple.
The men, who were both wearing lifejackets which had inflated when they hit the water, had managed to swim to a nearby boat. One person climbed aboard the boat but the second man had difficulty boarding it in the adverse conditions. Both men were put aboard the ILB and taken to the safety of Barmouth harbour.
One of the men was heard to tell the crew ‘Now I realise just how important it is to be wearing a lifejacket. I wouldn’t have liked to be without it today!’ Coxswain Peter Davies endorsed this comment. ‘A lifejacket will buy you vital time in the water and could save your life, but only if you’re wearing it’ he said.
RNLI research has found that 98% of people surveyed carry a lifejacket at sea, but not all of them are worn. In the third year of their lifejacket campaign the number of people saying that they wear their lifejacket ‘all the time’ has risen from 41% to 49%.