RNLI - Barmouth Lifeboat Station

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Lifejackets for lifesavers – RNLI launches new campaign in Wales

The RNLI is today launching an appeal to raise more than £185,500 to provide new lifejackets for its volunteer crews across Wales. The 31 lifeboat stations from Flint to Penarth will benefit from the fundraising drive, which includes the charity’s SOS day on 27 January, 2012.

The charity which saves lives at sea is keen to advance and improve existing kit and equipment for its volunteer crew. The two brand new types of lifejacket were designed through joint collaboration between the RNLI and the manufacturer to meet the charity’s current search and rescue requirements.

If you are able to help support this campaign please call RNLI Community Fundraising Manager, Deborah Ferns on 01745 538992 or email deborah_ferns@rnli.org.uk.

Father Christmas arrives in style

Father Christmas had plenty of helpers this year when he arrived at Merioneth Yacht Club on Barmouth harbour on Saturday 17th December. As well as his faithful Tinker the Elf, he was very lucky to have the help of Shrek and his beautiful wife Fiona this time.

They looked resplendent as they toured the town in the Inshore Lifeboat towed by the RNLI tractor before arriving at the Yacht club to distribute presents to all the excited  children gathered there for their annual Christmas party..



It was thanks all round at the Barmouth RNLI Lifeboathouse on Thursday morning the 1st December when a thank-you coffee-morning had been arranged to acknowledge the hard work and dedication put in by fundraising volunteers over the previous year. 

Debbie Ferns, the RNLI Community Fundraising Manager for North Wales thanked all the enthusiastic supporters who were delighted to hear that to date, Barmouth was the second highest fundraising branch throughout North Wales.  A short film was shown, a compilation of news items and lifeboat ‘shouts’ across the UK.  This was an excellent way of raising awareness of exactly what is involved when our lifeboats put to sea. 

The meeting were also told about an initiative called ‘All Hands on Deck’ whereby members of the public can get involved in volunteering for the lifesaving charity even if they can’t always offer a regular commitment.  Further information of this opportunity to get involved in this rewarding lifesaving work is available at www.rnli.org.uk.

A special vote of thanks went to June Davies who manages the RNLI souvenir shop.  June reported that a profit of £18,301.40 had been made on souvenir sales this year, an 8.5% in increase on the previous year.  June thanked the diligent group of volunteers who man the shop throughout the summer season, with especial mention for those who had stepped in to cover shifts at the last minute.  She also thanked Ena Ridley and her band of volunteers from Fairbourne who work tirelessly each year to raise money on the other side of the water.  Thanks were also due to Linda who keeps a supply of RNLI Christmas Cards and calendars for sale in her shop on the harbour.

Future events include the SOS sponsored walk a ‘Saunter on the Sands’ (or run!) on Saturday 28th January 2012.  It will be followed by a thank-you bowl of soup at the Lifeboat house afterwards. The coxswain, crew and friends will again be taking a New Year’s Day dip in the sea at about 11 a.m. on 1st January 2012.  This is to be followed by a well-earned and warming barbecue brunch. So if you need to work off some of those extra inches gained over the festive season, you are most welcome to come and join us.   If you want to take part in either event, sponsor forms can be obtained from the Lifeboathouse.

The Meirion Amateur Radio Society will be hosting their annual fundraising event during the week up to the sponsored walk.  They will set up their radio station in the Lifeboat house at 9 a.m. on the 28th January and to contact other radio enthusiasts all over the world.  They move to the Merioneth Yacht Club that evening and work throughout the night raising money for the RNLI.  Members of the public are invited to the boathouse or the yacht club to see their progress, and you can have the chance to speak to people in the UK, Europe and the USA.  They have even made contact with the International Space Station.  M.A.R.S. has been an active supporter of the Barmouth branch of the RNLI for the several years and last year were winners of an award for the highest amount collected for charity by an amateur radio station in the UK.  The crew and fundraisers of Barmouth RNLI are delighted to be associated with them.  It’s enthusiasm such as this that keeps our lifeboats afloat.

Another busy Motocross event in Barmouth

Another busy Motocross event took place in Barmouth during the weekend of the 29th/30th October.  The exceptionally high tides ( 12” higher than predicted) threatened to destroy a large part of the carefully made course and the start was delayed on the Sunday for last minute adjustments.  As last year, the crew of Barmouth Lifeboat offered to hose down participants’ bikes after each event for a donation towards the RNLI.  Head Launcher and Tractor Driver Jackie Thomas and Mechanic Llew Griffin, who turned out on his day off, were kept very wet and busy on both days and their efforts resulted in the sum of £365.00 being raised for the RNLI.  Well done both of you!

Heart of Wales Rally visits Barmouth

On Saturday 17th September, the annual Heart of Wales Road Rally stopped in Barmouth for a lunch break on their journey from Shrewsbury to Llanberis. Sixty-four vintage lorries resplendent in their original colour schemes delighted onlookers who were able to view them at close quarters whilst displayed in the car park next to the lifeboat station.

At Llanberis during dinner a raffle was held with all proceeds going to the RNLI. Added to the collection made earlier in the day at Barmouth the magnificent amount of £800.01 was raised. John Puddle Deputy Launch Authority at Barmouth lifeboat station received the money on behalf of the RNLI.

John Boughey organiser of the rally would like to thank Goodies for supplying a delicious lunch, The Dragon Theatre for the use of the Arts room and Gwynedd Council car parks for helping to make the event such a success.

Barmouth ALB launch to assist yacht

The warm weather prompted a third callout in three days for Barmouth RNLI.  The Inshore Lifeboat, the Clive Tanner, was launched at 11.04 on Saturday 1st October in response to a call to a vessel that had broken down while leaving Barmouth.
The engine of the 26ft yacht Cameo had failed while leaving Barmouth Harbour and, without power, the yacht was drifting back in on the incoming tide.  The crew of the vessel had dropped anchor to avoid being swept into the bridge when the ILB arrived and attached a rope.  The boat was towed to Barmouth harbour where the crew were able to disembark safely.

Barmouth Barmouth ALB launch to the aid of cabin cruiser.

aLB Tows Lady CaroleThe warm weather prompted another callout for Barmouth RNLI on Thursday 29th September. The all weather Lifeboat, the Moira Barrie, was launched at 09.48 in response to a call from the Coastguard Agency to a vessel that had broken down in Cardigan Bay. The volunteer crew located the 25ft cabin cruiser Lady Carole, which had developed engine trouble, and attached a tow rope. In fine weather and calm conditions the boat, with two persons on board, was towed to the Barmouth harbour where the crew were able to disembark safely.

Arthur Brenkley, the owner of Lady Carole, said “We are very grateful to the RNLI and the volunteer crew of the Lifeboat, they do a grand job. They were with us within half an hour, we are very lucky to have our lifeboats based here in Barmouth.”

Barmouth RNLI Inshore Lifeboat launch to report of person in the sea

The Barmouth RNLI Inshore Lifeboat The Clive Tanner launched on Wednesday 28th September in response to a request from Holyhead Coastguard.  A report had been received from a member of the public of a figure hanging from a mooring buoy waving his arms in Barmouth harbour.
The volunteer crew launched the ILB at 6.56pm and searched the area between the old harbour at  Aberamffra and the old lifeboat house, while members of the Coastguard scanned the harbour from Barmouth bridge.   It was about an hour before high water with a fast incoming tide running through the bridge.   However, in failing light and after a thorough systematic search of the area, nothing was found.
It was a very warm evening in an area popular with swimmers, but it was possible that a partly submerged mooring buoy, covered in seaweed and moving erratically in the very high tide might have been mistaken for a figure.  It was decided that this was a false alarm, but with good intent, and the ILB returned to the station at 07.35 pm. 

Barmouth Inshore Lifeboat launch to broken-down cruiser.

Barmouth RNLI Inshore Lifeboat was called out at 6.56 pm on Saturday evening 24th September to the aid of a cabin cruiser experiencing engine trouble on the bar.  The cruiser, with two persons on board had anchored and the ILB was alerted by a member of the public.  A tow line was attached to the vessel and the boat and its occupants were towed to Aberamffra harbour.

Barmouth RNLI rescue two men in near gale conditions

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 15.51 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%.

Barmouth RNLI Lifeboat Open Day - Sunday 21st August









Despite disappointing weather the fundraisers at Barmouth RNLI Lifeboat Station turned out with a smile to raise essential funds for their favourite charity on Sunday 21st August.

The morning was overcast as the All Weather Lifeboat the Moira Barrie was towed out to the beach and stalls were set out inside the boathouse to give protection from the showers.  The fundraising committee had organised a raffle, stalls, tombola and a barbecue and the coxswain, Peter Davies, allowed visitors and other volunteer crew members the opportunity to soak him with wet sponges as he played ‘Cox in the stocks’. Support by Barmouth residents and visitors resulted in over £1,214 being raised for the RNLI.

Fundraising chairperson Wendy Ponsford thanked the volunteers for their dedication and hard work in organising yet another successful and popular event, and of course, she thanked the general public for their continued support and generosity.

Barmouth Lifeboat Open Day - Sunday 21st August

Next Sunday, 21st August from 10 am to 4 pm Barmouth RNLI will hold an Open Day at the Lifeboat Station with stalls, raffles, games, face painting and a barbecue.  The all-weather lifeboat will be outside the station, the Samba Band will perform at 12 noon and the crew of the Inshore Lifeboat will be putting on a life-saving display at 1 pm. 

A designated area will also be available for Car Boot stall holders to erect their tables for a donation of £5 each. 

Why not come along to Barmouth promenade for a day on the beach and support this worthwhile charity at the same time?  All are most welcome.

Peaks of Achievement

The four volunteer lifeboatmen who set themselves the challenge of rowing the Barmouth to Fort William Three Peaks Yacht Race course in reverse, arrived in Barmouth at 11.30 am on Saturday 6th August.  They were escorted into harbour by the Barmouth RNLI Inshore Lifeboat and the Harbour Master’s launch. 
Delighted with their achievement, Liam Sharpe, Andy Cloke, Brown Cardoo and Ian Parkinson, from Bude in Cornwall, beached their boat to the cheers of volunteers from the local lifeboat crew and members of the Three Peaks Yacht Race Committee who gathered on the harbour to welcome them.  Their courageous efforts, often rowing against the tide and in heavy seas and strong southerly winds, enabled them to cover the entire course, climbing each of the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales and rowing their boat in between ports, in less than two weeks.  All four rowers attempted the mountain and cycling sections and each one was completed in a very respectable time.
They had managed to average a steady 3 to 4 knots and even up to 9 knots on occasions when the tide was with them.  But off the Mull of Galloway in high winds, their rudder broke and they were obliged to call out their colleagues in Port Patrick RNLI.
When they rounded the Lleyn Peninsula, they were warmly welcomed by the lifeboat crew of Porthdinllaen.  They also picked up a few tips along the way when they met Bill Ricketts, a veteran competitor of the Three Peaks Yacht Race.  Bill was making a leisurely return from Fort William in his yacht Kithros II when he came across the rowers. Impressed by their achievement, he was able to give them some very useful advice on how to negotiate the notorious tides in the Menai Straits.

The four and their supporters anticipate raising £40,000 for four well deserving charities; the RNLI, the Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust, the Devon Air Ambulance Trust and the Help for Heroes charity.

A Flash in the Pan ?

Barmouth RNLI Inshore Lifeboat was called out last night (4th August) by Holyhead Coastguard who had received a report from a member of the public of flashing lights coming from a dinghy out at sea off The Sands Leisure Complex, Talybont. The ILB launched at 9.48 pm to discover that the lights were coming from the head torches of the occupants who were doing a spot of night fishing.  The volunteer lifeboat crew established that no one was in danger and reported back to the Coastguard that this was a false alarm, albeit with good intent.

Barmouth Inshore Lifeboat launch to person in the sea - 2nd August

Barmouth RNLI Inshore Lifeboat was called out at 8.23 pm on Tuesday evening, 2nd August after a report of a person in the sea off Benar Beach, Talybont.

A further report was also received from Holyhead Coastguard of a boat in the same area, and at 9.29 pm the All Weather Lifeboat the Moira Barrie was also launched. The casualty was brought in to Barmouth and the boat was made secure on a mooring in the harbour.

Barmouth RNLI in search for missing children.

Barmouth RNLI Inshore Lifeboat launched on Monday 1st August at 9.09 pm in response to a call from the local Coastguards to search for three children. The children, aged between 11 and 14 years, were staying at Sunnysands Caravan Park near Talybont.  They had been using a rubber dinghy off the beach and had not been seen since 11 am that morning. The ILB launched at 9.09 pm and conducted a thorough shoreline search.  They later received a report that the children had been found by local police officers at 9.28 pm in Barmouth town, very wet, but safe and well.

Mud glorious Mud!

The volunteer crew of Barmouth RNLI Inshore Lifeboat launched at 2.47 pm on Monday 1st August in response to a call from Holyhead Coastguard.  They had been alerted to the plight of a lady who had been crossing the beach towards Ynys y Brawd at low water when she became stuck in mud.   Her husband, who was with her, was unable to drag her out and the woman became stuck hard and fast in the mud up to thigh level. The Local Fire Service were also in attendance and the Mud Rescue Team had been alerted, but fortunately members of the Coastguard, with the aid of wooden crates, managed to free the woman while the ILB crew gave assistance. The woman appeared none the worse for her ordeal, except that she and all her rescuers were covered in mud.

Barmouth ILB in action - Friday 9th July

Barmouth RNLI Inshore Lifeboat was launched on Friday 9th July after a report was received that a speedboat with engine failure was drifting off Sunnysands Caravan site, Talybont.  The D Class ILB The Rotarian Clive Tanner was launched at 5.03 pm and the volunteer crew located the boat with five persons aboard and gave assistance.  The boat was towed back to the slipway at the caravan site where the passengers were able to disembark safely.

Presentation to Barmouth RNLI

William Stockford, volunteer helmsman/mechanic of Aberdyfi RNLI made an unusual presentation to the Chairman of the Barmouth branch on Saturday 25th June 2011.  This was in the form of a framed copy of a cartoon story which appeared in the boys’ annual Hurricane in 1973. 
21st June 2011 marked the 40th anniversary of a rescue in which his father, the late John Stockford, took part and was awarded the RNLI’s silver medal; the first to be awarded to the crew of an Inshore Lifeboat.
Forty years ago, at 4 pm on the afternoon of the 21st June 1971 a report was received of a badly injured woman who had fallen off the cliffs at Friog opposite Barmouth.  The overhang on the 80ft cliffs meant that it was impossible for the Mountain Rescue team to lift the casualty to safety. 
In heavy rain, with a southwesterly gale blowing and poor visibility, the Inshore lifeboat was launched with volunteer crew Dr Robert Haworth and Colin Pugh with John Stockford at the helm. They had considerable difficulty in crossing the bar in the heavy seas, and the sea conditions and heavy boulders at the entrance to the cove where the casualty lay meant that beaching the ILB was extremely dangerous. The decision was made to evacuate the woman from the next cove further up to the north.  In view of the weather conditions, the all-weather lifeboat the Chieftain was also launched at 4.10 pm and stood off while the injured woman was placed on a stretcher and taken on board the ILB.   They landed the casualty on nearby Fairbourne beach where an ambulance was waiting to take her to hospital.
The crew of the ILB were awarded the Institution’s Silver Medal for the rescue and each of the shore party received the RNLI’s Thanks on Vellum, with a Letter of Appreciation being awarded to Coxswain Jones and the crew of Chieftain.  Later, the Ralph Glister Award for meritorious service was awarded to John Stockford, Colin Pugh and Dr Rob Haworth.
The story was reproduced in the Hurricane Annual in 1973 under the heading ‘Danger Men - the Life Savers’.  Pictured is Wil Stockford making the presentation to Coxswain Peter Davies and Dr Rob Haworth, now chairman of the Barmouth Branch.

Barmouth to Fort William 3 peaks Yacht race - 25th June

25th June 2011 marked a wet and windy start to the 34th Barmouth to Fort William Three Peaks race.  Many of the crew and skippers had a restless previous night on their boats on the trots in the harbour and the flags on the harbour side were stiff in the southwesterly breeze. The
The record number of 32 yachts were due to leave the harbour a 3 pm for a start out at sea one hour later.  They are usually led out in procession by the all weather Lifeboat, and it makes an impressive spectacle with the local Samba Band playing on the island.  This year they took so long getting off the trots in the rough seas that the Lifeboat left the harbour some time before the lead yachts were able to follow. 
Crossing the bar on the way out to the start line was roller coaster ride and when the Blue Peter went down, the fleet was scattered over a wide area, coping with rough seas and high swells bringing in 3 or 4 metre waves. Only a few made it across the line as the start flare went up and it took a while for the rest to follow, with some badly out of position and clearly struggling in the weather. Danu Technologies were one who had a nightmare start and they were well back in the field. One of their runners was thrown across the deck, breaking one of the stanchions.  However, the runner and crew soon recovered and they went on to win the race in 3 days, 5 hours and 37 minutes.

Barmouth RNLI aid Viking Princess

The Barmouth RNLI ALB The Moira Barrie was launched at on Sunday 3rd July in response to a call from HM Coastguard.  The pleasure boat MV Viking Princess was on a fishing trip in Cardigan Bay when a rope became entangled round her propeller.  Coxswain Peter Davies and the volunteer lifeboat crew launched the all weather lifeboat at 6.05 pm and located the vessel, with eight passengers aboard, 3 to 4 miles southwest of Llwyngwril.  A towline was attached to the Viking Princess and the boat was towed to the Barmouth harbour where the passengers were able to safely disembark.

Cyclist crosses UK in aid of the RNLI

Click for larger image Volunteer RNLI crew and fundraisers turned out early on Sunday morning 19th June to wave off cyclist Neil Thorneycroft from Barmouth RNLI boathouse.    37 year-old Neil, from Daventry in Northamptonshire, is raising money for the RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea, with a sponsored cycle ride from Barmouth across Wales and England to the east coast town of Cromer.
Neil’s inspiration came from an impromptu visit to the RNLI Museum in Cromer. The Museum was named after Henry Blogg, the RNLI’s most decorated lifeboatman and probably one of the best known Coxswains in the country.  During his 53 years of service Blogg was awarded three Gold and four Silver RNLI medals for gallantry, as well as the George Cross and British Empire Medal. Cromer is also the home of another famous and decorated RNLI personality, Henry ‘Shrimp’ Davies, nephew of Henry Blogg who succeeded him as coxswain of the Cromer lifeboat and served in this position for 29 years.
The stories of gallant rescues carried out by these and other volunteer lifeboat men were the motivation behind Neil’s decision to raise money for the RNLI.
Neil hopes to complete the 300 mile journey in under 6 days and was accompanied by a friend Paul for the first leg from Barmouth to Oswestry.
‘It will be a challenge both physically and mentally, but worth every pedal turn for this great cause’, said Neil.

You can follow Neil’s progress and donate to the RNLI by accessing his fundraising page - http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/NeilThorneycroft

Chieftain comes home - Saturday 11th June

Click for larger image Click for larger imageAt 1630 hrs on Saturday 11th June, ex-RNLB Chieftain returned to visit her home port of Barmouth; a day earlier than planned because of the unfavourable weather forecast for Sunday.  She had been lovingly restored, and with varnish and brasses gleaming she nosed alongside.
Ex RNLI coxswains and crew members were on the quayside to welcome their old friend and Tony Gatt, the current owner of Chieftain invited them aboard for a short trip out to sea.  With her former mechanic Dewi Wyn Jones in his usual seat, ex-coxswain Ken Jeffs took the helm over the bar while former crew members Robert Wyn Jones and Harry Allday and current coxswain Peter Davies chatted to her new owner about the boat.  They were delighted to see the collection of memorabilia and information put together by Tony and Kathryn Gatt about Chieftain.
The Liverpool Class Chieftain was stationed in Barmouth from 1949 to 1982 and was launched 113 times, resulting in 132 lives saved.  Tony found her on the east coast in a state of disrepair.  He took her to South Wales and spent six years singlehandedly restoring her, and has done a wonderful job.  Tony’s goal was to bring her back to Barmouth as soon as she was seaworthy.
If you can dig out any pictures or relevant press cuttings they might add to their collection, please contact Kathryn Gatt on 07774 248354 or email kathryngatt@live.com.

RNLI in beached dolphin rescue - Wednesday 8th June

The Barmouth RNLI Inshore Lifeboat was called out to assist in saving a beached dolphin on Wednesday 8th June 2011.
At about 12.30 in the afternoon Barmouth Harbour Master, Mr Glyn Jones, received a call from a member of the Fairbourne Railway who reported a dolphin stranded in the shallow waters of the creek behind Penrhyn Point, Fairbourne.  With the help of a ferry boat he tried for over an hour to coax the exhausted dolphin into deeper water. The ferry boat was unable to manoeuvre in the shallow water of the narrow creek and the noise of the engine appeared to be causing the mammal even more distress.  After several unsuccessful attempts the ‘D’ Class Inshore Lifeboat was called out at 13.33 hrs.  The volunteer crew, with Coxswain Peter Davies at the helm, managed to herd the stranded mammal back into deeper water where it was able to swim away.  The RNLI crew followed the dolphin as it made its way slowly along the coast and the last report from the Coastguard was that the mammal was making steady progress past the perch and out to sea.

Boathouse Rocks - Sunday 29th May

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Barmouth RNLI Boathouse was alive with the sound of music on on the promenade on Spring Bank Holiday Sunday, 29th May 2011.  Non-stop music from 12 noon until 6.00 p.m. was provided by local groups who generously gave their services free to the RNLI for the day.
Although the weather was cool, a substantial crowd of locals and holidaymakers gathered to listen to the music, and to enjoy a barbecue as well as supporting the RNLI at the various stalls.  Children patiently queued to have their faces painted by a very talented Alison.
Sharon Cooney, who worked tirelessly to ensure the day a success, was delighted to report that the day raised over £1,800 towards RNLI funds.
It is hoped that this popular and enjoyable event might be repeated again.

Fairbourne volunteer takes a back seat

Mrs Freda James, who has worked tirelessly for the RNLI since she joined the then Ladies Guild in 1969, has decided it is time for her to stand down from her position on the Barmouth and District RNLI Fundraising Committee.  Over the past 42 years, Freda has led a band of enthusiastic supporters in Fairbourne raising enormous sums for the Barmouth and district branch.  She has organised coffee mornings, stalls, flag days and the legendary Fairbourne Open Market, and this year, a very successful Country Dance and Race the Train event.  Freda’s energetic support on the committee will be missed, but she has promised to continue to help out in a less prominent role in the future.  Freda was presented with a bouquet of flowers by Wendy Ponsford, the Fundraising Chair.

Click the image for a larger photo

RNLI Fundraiser honoured - Wednesday 25th May

At the Barmouth and District RNLI Fund Raising Committee AGM held on Wednesday 25th May, Debra Fearns, Community Fund Raising Manager for North Wales presented the RNLI’s silver badge to Eric Tranter in recognition of his outstanding services to the RNLI.  Before moving to the Barmouth area Eric was, for many years, Vice-chairman of the Dudley RNLI branch where he was instrumental in raising many thousands of pounds for the Lifeboat Institution.  Since moving to Fairbourne 13 years ago, he has continued to be a loyal supporter providing invaluable help at Lifeboat Fundraising events in both Barmouth and Fairbourne.

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RNLI called to the aid of Jet skier - Saturday 21st May

The Barmouth RNLI Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) was launched at 14.10 on Saturday 21st May to aid a jet skier stranded in the Mawddach estuary.
With crewman Richard Jones at the helm, the RNLI ‘D’ Class inshore lifeboat was launched in rain with a brisk southerly force 5 wind blowing.    The man and his jetski were quickly located and although in no immediate danger, they were firmly high and dry on a sandbank opposite Mawddach Crescent in the estuary.  A towline was established between the craft and the ILB and it was towed by the volunteer crew to the safety of Barmouth harbour.

Scooting for Life

Barmouth RNLI Lifeboat station received an unusual visitor earlier this month.  65 year old Reg Marchant is touring the UK to raise money for the RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea, and the British Polio Fellowship.  The remarkable thing is that Reg, a polio sufferer who has been disabled since the age of four, is carrying out this arduous journey on his mobility scooter! Reg started out from the RNLI Headquarters in Poole, Dorset on 2nd April and hopes to cover 5,500 miles during the next six months.  He told Llew Griffin, Barmouth RNLI Lifeboat Mechanic that he ‘wants to raise recognition and awareness of the dedication and hard work that RNLI volunteer crews put in when risking their own lives to save others’.

You can follow this extraordinary man’s progress and find out more about the project on his website www.scoot4life.co.uk. You can also contact Reg and donate to the charities on his website.

Fundraising News

RNLI QUIZ - The annual RNLI quiz held in the Merioneth Yacht Club on Thursday 21st April was again a great success.  Sue Roberts, of the Harbour Fish Bar, very generously donated 55 portions of fish and chips.  Sue arranged for them to be cooked and delivered to the Yacht Club, piping hot, despite the long queues outside her shop at the beginning of the Easter weekend.  Thanks to Sue’s generosity, the sum of £355 was made for the RNLI that evening.

SOS week - The sum of £337 was raised from the ‘Saunter on the Sands’ which, together with the £833.16 received from the Merioneth Amateur Radio Society, totalled £1,211.16 raised at the January fundraising weekend.

Boat house Rocks - There will be a day of Live Music at the Barmouth RNLI Boathouse on Sunday 29th May from 12 noon until 6.00 p.m.  Music of a variety of genres including jazz, blues and acoustic guitar will be played in front of the boathouse by local groups who are giving their services free to the RNLI for the day.  There will be table top stalls, a barbecue and, of course, a raffle.  Raffle prizes include a meal for two at the Min-y-Môr Hotel on the Promenade and an opportunity to ‘Sing with the Band’ - which should attract all those budding and talented hopefuls.  The raffle is to be drawn at 5.30 p.m.  Sharon would be grateful for any donations towards the raffle and for volunteers to sell tickets and help with the barbecue.  You can contact her on 07894 160 840 if you would like to help

Coffee Morning - There will be a coffee morning held at the Boathouse on Thursday 16th June with cakes and book stalls.  Make a date in your diary now.

Fearless paddlers advised to return to safety

The Barmouth RNLI Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) was called out at 12.25 p.m. on Sunday, 8th May to a group of people on a sandbank in the harbour. The party of seven were paddling between Penrhyn Point and the rocks of Cerrig y Gorllwyn near Morfa Mawddach and appeared to be stranded on the sandbank.  The ILB was launched and the group, who were not at the time in any immediate danger, were advised to make their way carefully back to the beach.  The Coastguard kept an eye on them from the harbour until they had reached safety at which time the volunteer lifeboat crew then returned to the station.
RNLI Coxswain Peter Davies said ‘The sandbanks on the Fairbourne side of the harbour can be deceptively inviting to paddlers at low tide but the public should be aware that they can all too easily be cut off on this long stretch of sand.

Barmouth RNLI lifeboat crew save drifting yacht

Barmouth RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew secured a yacht that had broken from its moorings in Barmouth harbour on Monday morning 2nd May 2011.Barmouth RNLI all-weather lifeboat the Moira Barrie launched at 9.40 a.m. in a strong force 7 easterly wind.   The lifeboat reached the 22ft yacht, which was drifting out to sea and could have caused a danger to shipping, within ten minutes.  There was no one on board, but the crew battled for over half an hour in the high wind and choppy seas to try to secure the yacht.  A towline between the yacht and the lifeboat was established and, with the help of the RNLI ‘D’ Class inshore lifeboat, the yacht was towed to the safety of Barmouth harbour by 10.55 a.m.



Royal Wedding Weekend Launches for Barmouth RNLI

 On Friday 29th April, the afternoon of the Royal Wedding, the crew of Barmouth RNLI’s Inshore Lifeboat were called out to a 14 year-old girl stranded on the North Bank after she had been cut off by the incoming tide.  They crew were on the scene very quickly, but the girl had been pulled ashore by a member of the public and was very cold and shaken.  She was taken by the crew back to the Lifeboat house where she was warmed up, made more comfortable and given a cup of tea.

The rapid intervention of the RNLI Barmouth Inshore lifeboat averted two catastrophes the following day, Saturday 30th April, when a 54 year-old man fell overboard as his rubber dinghy capsized off Fairbourne beach.  A strong Force 5 easterly wind was blowing and was carrying him out to sea. The Coastguard alerted the lifeboat station at 14.35 and the inshore lifeboat reached the casualty within minutes under the direction of Coxswain Peter Davies. The crew administered oxygen to the stricken man, who was hypothermic after being immersed in the water for over twenty minutes.

There was no vehicular access for the ambulance service to reach this part of the beach and, given the seriousness of the man’s condition, it was decided that an airlift was the most appropriate course of action and a rescue helicopter was called which took the casualty to Bronglais Hospital, Aberystwyth.

Before the Inshore lifeboat returned the crew spotted another rubber inflatable dinghy being blown out to sea with two people on board.  Within minutes they were able to reach the dinghy and bring the two persons safely back to the shore.

Barmouth Lifeboat Operations Manager, John Probert, stressed the importance of the public being aware of the dangers when taking to the water in inflatable dinghies off Barmouth or Fairbourne beaches, especially when an easterly wind is blowing.

Barmouth RNLI launch to assist catamaran - Monday 25th April

Barmouth lifeboat was called out at 3.30pm on Easter Monday, 25th April to assist a local catamaran with three persons on board.  The yacht’s engine had failed and the crew were unable to beat against the ebbing tide to return to Barmouth.  The all-weather lifeboat The Moira Barrie was despatched and the crew passed a line to the yacht which was off Caerddaniel Caravan Park, Llanaber.  The catamaran was then towed to the safety of Barmouth harbour.

RNLI Inshore Lifeboat called out in Barmouth Harbour - Sunday 24th April

The Barmouth Inshore Lifeboat was launched at 19.45 today, Sunday 24th April 2011, to the aid of two teenage girls in Barmouth harbour.  The girls had paddled out in an inflatable dinghy and climbed aboard Cobweb, one of the yachts moored in the harbour.  Their inflatable floated away on the ebbing tide, leaving them stranded aboard the yacht with the yacht’s concerned owner on the shore wondering why they had boarded the boat and unsure of their intentions.  It was fine calm evening and the girls were in no immediate danger, but were taken off the boat by the ILB crew.  The rescue took only a few minutes and the girls were irritated and rather indignant to be the subject of an RNLI rescue.

Money from MARS - March 2011

The Meirion Amateur radio Society (M.A.R.S.) is a small but extremely enthusiastic club formed to promote amateur radio in south Gwynedd. It was the first club to be associated with the Lifeboat Amateur Radio Society (L.A.R.S.) established in 2010 by radio amateurs who are passionate about supporting and raising awareness of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution throughout the world. Their SOS Radio week is designed to coincide with the RNLI’s SOS Fundraising day.
M.A.R.S. has been an active supporter of the Barmouth branch of the RNLI for several years and during the last week of January 2011 they worked exceptionally hard raising money for the RNLI by a variety of means.
On Saturday the 22nd they were present with collecting boxes at the Aldi supermarket in Porthmadog, helping shoppers to load their bags.  During the weekend of the 28th/29th January M.A.R.S. were at Barmouth Lifeboat Station and the Merioneth Yacht Club working through the weekend to contact other radio operators. During the course of the week they succeeded in making contact with over 600 amateur radio enthusiasts around the world.  Every contact raises money for the RNLI.  In total they raised the fantastic amount of £833.16 which they were proud to present to Wendy Ponsford, the Chairman of Barmouth and District RNLI Fundraisers.

The crew and fundraisers of Barmouth RNLI are delighted to be associated with M.A.R.S. It’s enthusiasm such as theirs that keeps our lifeboats afloat.

Pictured from front left are John and Liz Martin from MARS, Coxswain Peter Davies, Chairman of Fundraising Wendy Ponsford and Simon Poyser of MARS, together with members of the crew.

RNLI  Saunter on the Sand - Friday 28th January

Fundraisers from the Barmouth Branch of the RNLI  met at the Lifeboathouse on Friday morning, 28th January for a sponsored “Saunter on the Sands” to raise money for the RNLI’s SOS day – their biggest fundraising day.  The 4½ mile walk took them over the barrage to the Perch and along the shoreline to Llanaber and back.  On their return to the Boathouse they were treated to a warming bowl of soup and a crusty roll.  To date over £200 has been raised and the money is continuing to come in.

Update - 26th Feb - The Final sum raised for the Saunter on Sands was £300 - well done to all and thank you.

ALB Moira Barrie returns - Tuesday 18th January

When children from Ysgol Clogau, Bontddu visited Barmouth Lifeboat Station on Tuesday 18th January 2011 they were delighted to witness the return of the All-weather Lifeboat the Moira Barrie after an absence from the station for several months while undergoing an extensive refit.

To maintain the reliability and durability of lifeboats, it is essential that they have refits at regular intervals.  The cost of carrying out a refit to an All-weather lifeboat is between £150,000 and £250,000.  The lifeboat was delivered from Falmouth to Pwllhelli on Monday and crew members travelled to Pwllheli to bring the boat back to Barmouth by sea the following day.  The relief boat will now return to Girvan in Scotland to re-join the RNLI’s relief fleet. The Moira Barrie was safely returned to boathouse ready for the 2011 season. Whenever she is needed, the lifeboat, her crew, shore helpers and everyone involved will be ready

Sad loss in the Barmouth Lifeboat Community

It is with great sadness that we record the death of Pam Walker, Tregarn, Barmouth. 

An avid fundraiser for the Barmouth lifeboat branch for over forty years, Pam has served as committee member, secretary, chairperson and more recently, treasurer of the fundraising committee.  She is especially remembered as a member of the Ladies’ Guild in the 1970s for her enthusiastic endorsement of the RNLI, but perhaps more for using her expertise and skills as an auctioneer to raise substantial sums at fundraising events.  Pam was recently awarded the RNLI’s Gold Medal for her dedicated service.  She will be sadly missed by us all. 
The funeral service has been arranged for 11 a.m. on Monday 17th January 2011 at St. John’s Church, Barmouth.


DANGER TO SHIPPING? - 1st January 2011

Holiday makers walking their dogs on Barmouth beach on New Year’s Day wondered what was happening when they saw crowds pouring out of the Lifeboat station to watch a dozen or more hardy men, a few brave youngsters and one intrepid lady march down the beach and immerse themselves into the icy waves for their annual New Year’s dip. There was much cheering and good humoured bantering as members and friends of the lifeboat crew plunged in; but the rumour that the Coastguards were putting out a DTS (Danger to Shipping) warning had been denied.

The canon, donated by the family of the late Coxswain Keith Allday and recently refurbished by the Fairbourne Railway Company, was fired at noon in remembrance of past crew members. Following their swim, a warming barbecue brunch was served in the Lifeboat station.




For further information about these News items please contact
Norma Stockford, Barmouth lifeboats volunteer press officer
on 01341 280742 or 07917 245882, or email her at our contacts page


visit the official RNLI Press Centre at :-

RNLI online

For more information on the RNLI please visit www.rnli.org.uk. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI Press Centre www.rnli.org.uk/press

Key facts about the RNLI

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 230 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more than 100 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK. 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 137,000 lives.

A charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SCO37736). Charity number CHY 2678 in the Republic of Ireland