The volunteer crew from Aberystwyth were busy manning stalls at their Christmas fair when the pagers went off at approximately 11:15am on Saturday (9th Dec) alerting them to a dinghy that was capsized just off the harbour entrance.
The crew quickly assembled at the lifeboat station, and were informed that a sailing dinghy from a local sailing club had capsized, but the occupants were safely ashore. The boat had lost some of its equipment and fittings usually used to help in re-righting. The RNLI lifeboat ‘Spirit of Friendship’ was quickly on scene and found the vessel to be upturned with the mast caught on the rocky sea bed area known as the trap.
The crew were able to secure ropes to the dinghy and roll it back upright, where they then towed it back to the harbour and returned it to its owners.
The crew quickly rehoused the boat and returned to Aberystwyth Bandstand where the Christmas with the RNLI craft fair was still taking place. Santa and Stormy stan had left the bandstand to assist with the rescue but soon realised the crew had it well in hand and returned to the fair.
This is the second year the station has run the festive fundraising event, which included a winter BBQ, Santas Grotto, local craft stalls, raffle and carol singing by two local choirs and general merriness. The exact amount raised is still being finalised, but the day seems to have been a great success.
Nick Thompson, volunteer helm at Aberystwyth said “Whilst the lifeboat was launching a concerned member of the public also rang the station to report the capsize. Normally the station is not manned, so we would always recommend that people phone 999 and ask for the Coastguard if they see someone in trouble”
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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.
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