RNLI - Barmouth Lifeboat Station

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A Christmas Donation for Barmouth RNLI

The volunteer crew of Barmouth Lifeboat joined in the celebrations at the Late Night Christmas Shopping event in Barmouth on Thursday evening 7 December 2017. As the crew toured the streets with their D Class Craig Steadman, they were approached by Yvonne and Darren Bowater of Dyffryn Seaside Estate who presented them with a cheque for £2,500 - the proceeds from a firework display held at their end of season party.

Coxswain Peter Davies said: ‘We are delighted once again to receive such a very generous donation from Dyffryn Seaside Estate. Barmouth RNLI is very grateful to all the support it receives from local organisations, it is their continuing generosity that keeps our boats afloat and enables our crews to continue saving lives at sea.’

Pictured are Stormy Stan and volunteer crew members receiving the cheque from Darren and Yvonne Bowater.

Barmouth RNLI honours faithful fundraiser

At their annual ‘Thank-you’ evening on 1 December 2017, Fundraising Chair Wendy Ponsford addressed a crowded room of supporters, crew members, and RNLI shop volunteers, explaining that the event was held for all those who had supported Barmouth RNLI during the year, she thanked them for their continuing and generous help.

During the evening, fundraiser Eric Tranter was presented with an inscribed cut glass goblet for over 50 years of support for the RNLI. Eric had been Vice-Chairman of the Dudley Branch in the West Midlands before moving to Fairbourne and becoming a member of the Barmouth Fundraising Committee and has been responsible for collecting lifeboat boxes from Fairbourne and the surrounding areas for many years.

June Davies, Barmouth RNLI Treasurer and Shop Manager announced another record-breaking year for the station. During 2017, a total of over £60,000 had been raised from events held, the RNLI shop and donations. Much of this success was due to the tremendous support received from all the crew, local businesses as well as visitors to the station.

The next event in the RNLI calendar will be the annual New Year’s Day Dip on 1 January 2018 at 11 am. The dip is open to anyone feeling brave enough to participate and sponsor forms can be obtained from Barmouth Lifeboat Station or by emailing Barmouth@rnli.org.

Barmouth RNLI’s new lifeboat named in memory of Holyhead crew member

A very moving ceremony took place on Sunday 1 October 2017 at Barmouth Lifeboat Station with the naming and dedication of their new Inshore Lifeboat (ILB).

The new D class inshore lifeboat was named Craig Steadman in honour of the 28-year-old Holyhead lifeboat crew member who died in August 2015 when the motorbike he was riding was involved in a collision on the A55 near Llanfairpwll. Over two hundreds guests including Craig’s family and friends attended, along with volunteer lifeboat crew from Holyhead and Barmouth lifeboat stations, fundraisers and RNLI and community dignitaries.

Craig’s parents, Sharon and Ray, took part in the ceremony to officially name and dedicate the lifeboat in Barmouth Lifeboat Station. Ray handed the new lifeboat to RNLI Council Member Rear Admiral Mark Kerr, who accepted it on behalf of the Institution. Sharon then officially named the lifeboat in memory of her son with the customary pouring of champagne over the bow.

Sharon said: ‘Craig was a very loyal and respected RNLI crew member in Holyhead. ‘Sadly, his life was cut short at 28 years old. Through this lifeboat, Craig will live on. He will continue to help people, as he always did in life.’

The D class lifeboat has been funded thanks to a joint fundraising effort by Holyhead and Barmouth RNLI lifeboat stations. Both stations were tasked with raising half the £48,000 cost of the boat, and they were helped by RNLI fundraising branches from as far afield as the West Midlands and Black Country and the general public in both communities.

Ray said: ‘As Craig’s father I am immensely proud of what he achieved in his short life and his dedication to saving lives at sea with the RNLI. It is very humbling to see the high regard he held with the volunteer crew at Holyhead RNLI lifeboat station, such that they set about raising funds, along with the volunteers at Barmouth, to provide a lifeboat bearing Craig’s name. Craig’s passion for saving lives at sea will go on so thank you to all who made this a reality.’

The D 814 Craig Steadman will replace Barmouth RNLI’s former D class lifeboat D678 Rotarian Clive Tanner, which has been launching to maritime emergencies off Barmouth since June 2007. Between then and the start of 2017 it launched 196 times to maritime emergencies, rescued 164 people and saved 12 lives.

Barmouth RNLI Coxswain Peter Davies said: ‘Today is the result of a tremendous amount of hard work by so many people and the thanks of everyone at Barmouth RNLI goes out to all of them. ‘Receiving a new lifeboat is a special day for any crew but to be getting a lifeboat bearing Craig’s name is a special honour. We will make sure the lifeboat and her crew do Craig and his family proud for years into the future.’

Tony Price, Holyhead RNLI Coxswain, said: ‘It isn’t often that two lifeboat stations in different parts of the country get to work together on such a special project as this fundraising appeal and we were delighted to reach our collective target early. The charity’s volunteers at Holyhead and Barmouth have forged links which will last long into the future.’

D 814 Craig Steadman will operate alongside Barmouth RNLI’s all-weather Mersey Class lifeboat Moira Barrie until 2020 when it is set to be replaced by a Shannon class all-weather lifeboat.


Young fundraisers visit Barmouth RNLI - 03 October 2017

On Sunday 01 October Barmouth RNLI were visited by two young fundraisers who are each playing their part in ensuring the station can continue saving lives at sea. While the crew were preparing for the Naming Ceremony for inshore lifeboat Craig Steadman, nine year old Finnley Parkinson from Chirk called in to hand over funds he had raised by participating in the 2017 Trek Coed y Brenin Enduro event the previous day. Entered in the 'Nippers n' Rippers Kids Mini Enduro' Finnley managed to finish the course despite what organisers say was the wettest year of the event along with a record amount of other riders. Thanks to his generous sponsors Finnley was able to donate £73 to the station which will help the volunteer crew continue to save lives at sea.

Later on that day, Barmouth volunteer crew were also visited by another young RNLI fundraiser. Ten year old Harry Mascall from Cheshire has been working his way around the UK visiting every RNLI station since he turned seven. He is currently well over halfway through ticking off each of the 238 stations and has so far raised over £5,000 for the RNLI. He first visited Barmouth RNLI as part of his mission back in 2015. Harry was invited to join both Barmouth RNLI and Holyhead volunteer crew for the naming ceremony of the new Barmouth RNLI inshore lifeboat Craig Steadman by Richard Steadman, whose brother Craig the new lifeboat is named after. Sadly due to work commitments, Richard was unable to attend so offered his space to Harry and his family as a thank you for the great work he does raising funds and awareness of the RNLI.

You can support Harry and his mission at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/harrymascall

Pictured left is Finnley and on the right Harry & Ray

Barmouth RNLI Lifeboats blessed at Dedication Service - 4th September 2017

A small congregation of visitors and local supporters joined the crew of Barmouth RNLI for their annual dedication service at Barmouth Lifeboat Station on the afternoon of Sunday 3 September 2017.

The all-weather lifeboat Moira Barrie was towed into the doorway of the boathouse and provided a fitting backdrop to the service, which took place inside the boathouse due to the weather.

Conducted by Canon Beth Bailey and Reverend Miriam Beecroft, the annual service of readings, prayers and hymns, saw the RNLI lifeboats blessed and re-dedicated for the next 12 months. Canon Bailey also reminded those present of the importance of not only the lifeboats and the volunteer crew but also how important the support of both local supporters and visitors are to the RNLI within a community such as Barmouth.

She also made mention of the upcoming changes to Barmouth RNLI with the arrival of a new inshore lifeboat which is due on station in the next few weeks, and the arrival of a Shannon Class lifeboat within the next few years, which will replace the current all-weather lifeboat Moira Barrie. The service concluded once again with a prayer for the safety of those rescued and for the volunteer crews who risk their lives to save others at sea.

Barmouth RNLI Lifeboats launch to aid drifting yacht

At the request of UK Coastguard, Barmouth all-weather lifeboat (ALB) the Moira Barrie and the Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) were launched at 8.00 pm on Wednesday 23 August.

A 30ft sailing yacht the ‘Flying Keel’ with two persons on board, was on passage to Barmouth from the north when it suffered engine failure. The crew of the yacht were unable to sail to windward in the force 4 to 5 south-westerly wind and the vessel was in danger of running aground. Both boats were at the scene by 8.35 pm, a towline was established to the stricken vessel and the boat was brought in to the safety of Barmouth Harbour.

The volunteer RNLI crew and both boats returned to station and were ready for service again by 10.45pm.

Barmouth RNLI lifeboats launch to yacht caught in bridge. 22 August 2017

At 6.29pm on the evening of Monday 21 August Barmouth RNLI volunteer crew were paged by the UK Coastguard to launch both lifeboats to a 34ft yacht which had broken it’s moorings and ended up caught in Barmouth bridge.

The inshore lifeboat was quickly launched to assess the scene and confirm if any persons were on board, the all-weather lifeboat was launched shortly after at 6.45pm. It was quickly determined that there were no persons thought to be on board in the casualty vessel. Given that there was thought to be no persons onboard, a fast flowing incoming tide, and the fact the yacht was wedged fast into the bridge, the decision was made to stand-off until after high water at 8.55pm.

Cables from the yacht were caught up in the bridge meaning any recovery had to be taken slowly and in a manner as to not endanger the volunteer crew or the bridge itself. During the assessing of the most opportune moment to move the yacht, both lifeboat crews liaised with both the harbourmaster and Barmouth Coastguard Team who were on the bridge and able to pass on information on how the yacht was caught up in the bridge’s structure. At 9.43pm the mast on the casualty vessel broke under the pressure of the changing tide. This released the yacht from the bridge. This meant the inshore lifeboat could guide the vessel away from further damage to a safe location.

Both lifeboats were back on station and ready for service by 11.15pm.


Success for Barmouth RNLI on Annual Fundraising Day.

Once again Stormy Stan drew in the crowds to the Lifeboat Station on the promenade for Barmouth RNLI’s annual Fun Day on Sunday 20 August.

The all-weather lifeboat, Moira Barrie, was on display out on the beach and locals and holidaymakers came along to enjoy the games, and to grab a bargain at the many stalls. Cakes and refreshments were available and the crew once again served up a tasty barbecue lunch. The Cox in the Stocks stall was as popular again this year, with children and adults queuing up to soak the coxswain and second coxswain with wet sponges!

The RNLI Face to Face team were in attendance and there was much interest in the Community Safety Officer’s stall set up for the Respect the Water Campaign, where information and advice was available to encourage people to enjoy the coast, but to be aware of the power of the sea and how to stay safe.

Thanks to the dedication of fundraisers and crew, and to the generosity of the public, over £2,345.24 was raised on the day. Barmouth RNLI would like to thank the many local shops and other organisations for their continued generosity, and to all those who visited for their continued support for this worthy cause.

Charity ball raises funds for Barmouth RNLI

Barmouth RNLI were visited on Saturday (5 August) by Leona Oldroyd and her husband Peter to be presented with a cheque for £573.85.

Leona held a charity ball on the evening of 22 July in Trearddur Bay Hotel, Anglesey, to raise money for both Alaw Ward Alternative Therapy Department, and the RNLI Craig Steadman Lifeboat Appeal. Guests were treated to a fun night which included a hot buffet, a DJ and local entertainers. And Leona was grateful for the support from local businesses who donated prizes towards the evenings raffle.

Leona decided to split any funds raised due to the care she has received from Alaw Ward, and also due to knowing Craig Steadman since he was a teenager. Craig Steadman was a popular and well-loved volunteer lifeboat crew member at Holyhead RNLI who was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident in August 2015. A new Inshore lifeboat to be based at Barmouth RNLI will be named in his memory and is due to be operational within the next few months.

While the £48,000 to cover the cost of the new Inshore Lifeboat has already been raised, This fantastic amount will ensure Barmouth RNLI will be able to continue saving lives at sea when the Craig Steadman arrives on station.

Blue light event at Barmouth RNLI

Rain showers did not deter the public coming to visit local emergency services who had gathered at Barmouth RNLI for Blue Light Day on Sunday (6 August).

Organised by PCSO David Hughes, the event saw the RNLI join up with South Snowdonia Search And Rescue Team, North Wales Police, Barmouth Fire Station, Barmouth Coastguard Rescue Team, Wales Air Ambulance, the Royal Lifesaving Society, the RSPB, Welsh Hearts, and Blood Bikes Wales. The day gave the public the chance to meet personnel from each organisation and see the equipment each uses within their role.

Highlights included the chance to sit on a motorcycle used by Blood Bikes Wales, in a fire engine and in a police car. Visitors also got the chance to find out about North Wales Police's summer child safety project to assist when children get separated from their parents on the beach. Many visitors found the RNLI Flood Rescue stand of interest, commenting that they did not realise that the RNLI fulfils this role nationwide. Visitors got to view the equipment used by the Flood Rescue Team and also find out how the team is made up of 250 volunteers from across the RNLI, including lifeboat crew and operational staff, all specially trained in swift water rescue.

All representatives of the emergency services commented on how it had been a successful day and it was good to see that the weather did not deter visitors from coming along.

Barmouth RNLI “Come visit us day” proves popular

Sunday 30 July saw the popular “Come Visit Us Day” take place at Barmouth RNLI which allowed members of the public to see how their donations are used.

Organised by Lifeboat Visits Officers Wendy Cleaver and Eve Williams, the event saw a steady flow of visitors to the station who all wanted to find out about the work of the RNLI. The all-weather lifeboat proved to be a popular attraction with over 400 people passing through her during the day. Visitors also got to view the inshore lifeboat, find out about the “Respect The Water” campaign, see the equipment used, and even try on some examples of the kit used. Members of the volunteer crew were on hand to any questions people had. The station fundraisers were also kept busy selling cakes and drinks throughout the day. This year's event also saw us joined by Andy Benfield and Steve Gregory from Chasewater Model Boat Club. Among their display of radio control boats were a replica of Barmouth's all-weather lifeboat Moira Barrie which proved to be popular with visitors as they made their way to view the full size version.

While not planned as a fundraising event, donations taken on the day came to over £1,777 between generous donations from the public and takings in the RNLI shop. This will assist Barmouth RNLI and its volunteer crew to continue saving lives at sea.


Barmouth RNLI provides Public Access Defibrillator for the community.

The volunteer crew of Barmouth Lifeboat Station have gifted a Public Access Defibrillator to the community.

The defibrillator went live at 9am on Tuesday 25 July 2017 will be initially available between 9am and 5pm until the installation of a cabinet outside the station. Once installed in its cabinet, the defibrillator will be accessible to the public 24 hours a day. The new Automated External Defibrillator (AED) which was supplied by Achub Calon Y Dyffryn is extremely easy to use and requires no training.

This ease of use means any member of the public can safely use one under the guidance of both the AED itself and the 999 call handler. When the need for an AED is required, the call handler will issue a code which can be used to unlock the cabinet. The new device joins a number of other defibrillators in town, meaning nobody in Barmouth is ever far from one when needed

Lifeboat Coxswain Peter Davies said “The community have always been supportive of what we do saving lives at sea. So as a crew we wished to give something back to say thank you to them.”


Barmouth RNLI recognises the dedication of its volunteers

Barmouth RNLI came together to recognise the dedication shown by some of their station volunteers. Lifeboat Press Officer Norma Stockford, Fundraising Chair Wendy Ponsford and Shop Manager and Treasurer June Davies were all awarded individual RNLI Excellence In Volunteering Awards.

While a group award was given to the station's fundraising and shop volunteers. The Excellence in Volunteering Awards allow RNLI volunteers to nominate others who have gone the extra mile, inspired or innovated people, are outstanding ambassadors, or the unsung heroes who quietly ensure the success of the RNLI in saving lives at sea.

Barmouth Lifeboat Operations Manager David Baily said: 'Often the hard work and dedication shown by Norma, June, Wendy, and our shop and fundraising volunteers can go unnoticed by those outside of the station. So the RNLI Excellence In Volunteering Awards allows us as a station to publicly thank them all for their dedication to both the station and the RNLI as a whole.'

Coxswain Peter Davies added: 'Their hard work ensures we as a station can continue saving lives at sea. And the amount of dedication they have all shown is an inspiration to us all within the station.'

(left to right): David Baily, Norma Stockford, Wendy Ponsford, June Davies, Pete Davies.


Another surprise visitor for Barmouth RNLI

Barmouth RNLI Mechanic Daryl James received another surprise visitor on Tuesday 11 July when David Outhwaite from Harriseahead, Staffordshire arrived at the lifeboathouse. David is raising money for the RNLI and Cancer Research by driving his 1983 series 3 County Landrover around the coast of England and Wales, stopping at every Lifeboat station along the way. David, 67, a former college lecturer and now the secretary of the Biddulph History Society, bought the 34 year-old Landrover 20 years ago when it was in a state of disrepair. He set to work restoring it and wanted to put it to good use. And what better use could it be put to than to raise money for two very worthy charities?

David is hoping to raise £2,500.00 for both the RNLI and Cancer Research and is enjoying his tour of the coastline. ‘Barmouth is my thirteenth stop’ he said I started on 1July and I just need to be back home by September’.
If you would like to donate to these worthy causes David has set up a Just Giving page - https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/david-outhwaite2


Striding out for the RNLI

Freelance photographer and charity fundraiser Ken Scott called into Barmouth Lifeboat Station on Sunday 09 July as part of his walk of the UK coast to raise money for the RNLI and Parkinson's UK.

Ken left his home in West Sussex in February 2017 and has so far raised £1,888.75 which will be split between the two charities.

His decision to support Parkinson's UK is in memory of his father-in-law Harold who died in 2015 after a long and sad decline with Parkinson's disease. Given that his fundraiser would involve walking past many lifeboat stations he decided to raise money for the RNLI too, because he says: ‘The RNLI does magnificent work at sea for our maritime nation, saving lives without discrimination.’

Ken was met for the walk over Barmouth Bridge by Barmouth RNLI volunteer crew member Helen Iles who then showed him around the lifeboat station and the type of equipment his fundraising will fund. You can make a donation towards Ken's walk at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/coast17 and read of his progress on his fascinating blog Coast 17 at www.touchingthelight.co.uk/coast.


Barmouth RNLI called to aid kayaker

Barmouth RNLI Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) launched on Sunday 9th July at the request of UK Coastguard to a report of a kayaker in difficulties in Cardigan Bay.

The report came from the kayaker’s wife who was worried about her husband being carried out to sea. The RNLI volunteer crew members launched at 7.32 pm and located the kayak off Sunbeach Caravan Park, Llwyngwril at 7.44 pm. The sea state was calm with an incoming tide and the kayaker, who was wearing a lifejacket, assured the ILB crew that he was not in any danger.

The crew then put in to the beach at the Caravan site to reassure the wife, and the ILB returned to the station at 8.05 pm.

Barmouth Inshore Lifeboat called out to rubber dinghy

When a Barmouth RNLI Volunteer Jon Rollins saw a small dinghy far out to sea on 1 July 2017, he became immediately concerned. Jon spotted the small inflatable over 200 yards out to sea off the north end of Barmouth promenade. There were no other craft in the vicinity so no time was lost in reporting it to the UK Coastguard who requested that Barmouth Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) to investigate.

The volunteer crew launched at 1.01 pm and, after a thorough search of the surrounding area, nothing was found. Assuming that this was a false alarm with good intent, the ILB returned to station at 2.00 pm. ‘This was a very small dinghy which was a long way out to sea and not making any headway’ said Jon. ‘We are always trained to err on the side of caution and I felt I had to raise the alarm. I could not have slept if the outcome had been different and I had not alerted the Coastguard and RNLI’.

Coxswain Peter Davies said: ‘Our crew are trained to spot dangers out at sea and to recognise hazardous situations. As the saying goes ‘If in doubt, give us a shout!’’

Daniel goes that extra mile for the RNLI

When 14 year-old Daniel Williams of New Quay Ceredigion was asked what charity he wanted to support for the volunteering element of his Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme, he lost no time in nominating the RNLI. Daniel’s father, Simon, had been helm of Newquay’s Inshore Lifeboat and a crew member for many years, so the RNLI was a natural choice for him.

He and his dad had holidayed in Barmouth and felt there was no better way to support his favourite charity than to do a bike-ride down the Mawddach trail from Dolgellau to Barmouth and back, enjoying one of Wales’ most beautiful estuaries. When Daniel and Simon arrived in Barmouth during the busy annual Dog Show event on Sunday 2 July, they were welcomed by RNLI Coxswain Peter Davies who said: ‘It’s great to see youngsters like Daniel taking part in this leading youth achievement award while supporting the RNLI at the same time. It is young people just like Daniel who are keen to get involved and learn new skills that the RNLI want to encourage too.’ Daniel has already raised over £200 for the RNLI and hopes to increase this to £300.

Barmouth RNLI Dog show

Barmouth RNLI’s popular Dog Show proved to be a crowd-puller again this year, on Sunday 2nd July 2017. From 1.00 pm owners arrived at the Lifeboat Station as to enter their dogs of all sizes and in a variety of categories. Winners and runners up of each category received a certificate and rosette and the event was very ably adjudicated by Ed Moss from Williams’ Veterinary practice, assist by Head Launcher Jackie Thomas.

‘Best in Show’ was awarded to Jasper brought along by Phoebe Mulligan from Staffordshire.

Winning categories:
BEST SMALL DOG: Grace – owned by Sharon Cooney of Barmouth (Picture 2)
BEST MEDIUM DOG: Bailey – owned by Gary Thurogood (Picture 3)
BEST LARGE DOG: Jasper - owned by Phoebe Mulligan from Cannock (picture 1)
BEST RESCUE DOG: Ted, with Rachel Hall from Holyhead (Picture 5)
BEST CHILD WITH DOG: Jasper, with Phoebe Mulligan, Cannock (Picture 4)
BEST PUPPY: Wilma, with Gary Richardson
BEST DOG ON HOLIDAY: Cody, with Mrs Barbara Saunders
DOG WITH WAGGIEST TAIL: Poppy, with Louise Parsons
MOST OBEDIENT DOG: Elsie, with Andy Smith
BEST IN SHOW: Jasper, with Phoebe Mulligan of Cannock, Staffs

It was a thoroughly enjoyable day and the dogs made sure that their owners were impeccably behaved all afternoon.

The next event will be the Come Visit Us Day on Sunday 30 July when members of the public can view the lifeboats and speak to the crew. This will be followed by Annual Fun Day on Sunday 20 August. Both events will be held at the Lifeboat Station on the promenade at Barmouth where the Inshore and All Weather Lifeboats will be on display, providing a perfect opportunity for everyone to see exactly how their donations help save lives at sea.

RNLI announces important changes in Cardigan Bay

The RNLI has announced important changes to the lifeboat service provided by the charity in Cardigan Bay. Pwllheli and Barmouth RNLI lifeboat stations will each be allocated a 25-knot Shannon class all-weather lifeboat whilst New Quay RNLI will be allocated a faster Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat (B class) to respond to those in trouble around the coast.

Both Pwllheli and Barmouth Lifeboat Stations’ new Shannon class lifeboat will replace their existing Mersey class lifeboats and will operate alongside their existing D class inshore lifeboats. The new 35-knot Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat at New Quay will replace the station’s existing Mersey class all-weather lifeboat and will complement the station’s D class inshore lifeboat.

All three stations (Pwllheli, Barmouth and New Quay) currently operate 17-knot Mersey class all-weather lifeboats. As all three Mersey lifeboats in Cardigan Bay are nearing the end of their operational life and the RNLI has taken the opportunity to look at the most effective combination of new, faster lifeboats for future lifesaving in the area.

New Quay’s all-weather lifeboat will not leave Ceredigion until the Shannon class lifeboats are stationed at Barmouth and Pwllheli and New Quay’s new Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat arrives for service. This is unlikely to happen before 2020. Pwllheli and Barmouth are due to get their Shannon class lifeboats after building work to modify the lifeboat stations is completed in the next few years.

The decision was made as a result of the RNLI’s five-year coast review* process where the charity decides the best use of its rescue assets within each area. The coast review considers the number and types of rescues carried out by each lifeboat, changing trends and water use within the area, search and rescue demands, costs, as well as future needs.

As part of the new coast review process, each lifeboat station involved is invited to feed into the review to help build an all-round picture for consideration.

George Rawlinson, RNLI Operations Director explains:
‘This is an important change for the RNLI in Cardigan Bay as we continue to improve the lifeboat service around the coast. The capability and standards of our lifeboats are constantly developing and improving; resulting in safer, more advanced lifeboats for our volunteer crews. The Mersey class all-weather lifeboats have served the area well, but as the Shannon class lifeboat is slowly introduced across the coast our volunteer crews will be able to respond quicker – and travel further – to help those in trouble at sea.

‘As a result of the improved capabilities of all of the charity’s lifeboats, the RNLI have decided to allocate Pwllheli and Barmouth a Shannon class all-weather lifeboat. From 2020 New Quay RNLI’s service will change from an all-weather lifeboat to the quicker, more manoeuvrable Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat. It’s the RNLI’s fastest lifeboat within the fleet – with the ability to travel up to 35 knots when responding to callouts.’

George continues:
‘Changing the type of lifeboat at a station is never a decision that’s taken lightly – we understand the attachment a crew feel for an all-weather lifeboat that has kept them safe at sea for many years. The decision to replace the all-weather lifeboat at New Quay was underpinned by extensive research of records going back to 2008. It concluded that services by New Quay RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat could have been carried out safely and effectively by an Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat, supported by 25-knot lifeboats at neighbouring stations if required. We understand that this decision will be difficult for New Quay lifeboat station, however we are confident that this is the best rescue asset to service this stretch of coast as we look to the future in Cardigan Bay.’

*The RNLI coast review took into account extensive information from 2012-2015. The information considered included: detailed reports of launches and incidents carried out by the lifeboat stations, data from the National Water Incident Database (WAID) and a combination of open sources, as well as information gathered in face-to-face meetings and workshops at the lifeboat station both before and after the Coast Review visits to ensure any local knowledge or concerns were captured.

About the Shannon class all-weather lifeboat

The £2.2M Shannon class lifeboat, which was designed to replace the Mersey and Tyne class lifeboats, is the first modern all-weather lifeboat to be propelled by waterjets instead of traditional propellers, making her the most agile and manoeuvrable all-weather lifeboat yet. Reaching top speeds of 25 knots, the Shannon is nearly 50% faster than the Mersey, giving crews the ability to reach and assist casualties faster when time is of the essence.

About the Atlantic 85 class inshore lifeboat

The £214,000 Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat is one of the fastest in the RNLI fleet, reaching top speeds of 35 knots. Although the inshore lifeboat is designed to operate in shallower water, the B class can handle fairly challenging open sea conditions – with the ability to operate in force 7 near gale winds in daylight and force 6 at night. The Atlantic 85 can carry four lifeboat crew as well as a number of casualties when responding to incidents on the coast.

Second launch of the day for Barmouth Inshore Lifeboat

In response to a request from UK Coastguard, Barmouth Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) launched for the second time on Wednesday 21 June 2017.

A report had been received from a member of the public that the occupants of an inflatable dinghy appeared to be in trouble. The dinghy, with two persons on board waving their arms to attract attention, was being blown offshore by the easterly wind.

The crew were paged at 1.44 pm and were with the boat, about 500 yards offshore, in a couple of minutes. The vessel and its occupants were soon safely returned to the shore and the boat returned to station at 1.58 pm.

Early morning shout for Barmouth RNLI

While Barmouth RNLI volunteer crew member Russ Courtney was walking his dog during the early hours of Wednesday 21 June 2017, he was approached by a member of the public concerned about a group of males whom he had just seen launch a dinghy in the harbour.

Three males had been seen dragging an inflatable tender along the pontoon and rowing out into the darkness. It was warm evening with an easterly force 3 to 4 wind blowing.

Aware of the dangers of crossing the fast-flowing main channel in the dark, the crew member contacted the UK Coastguard who immediately authorised a launch of the Inshore Lifeboat (ILB).

The volunteer crew were paged at 01.17am and launched at 01.25. Senior helms Russ Courtney and Richard Jones along with crew member Alex Hill quickly located a yacht on the far side of the harbour with its masthead light on. On speaking to one of the five persons on board the yacht, it transpired that the tender was on its second run when it was spotted by the vigilant local man. When it was established that no-one was in danger and that all were safe aboard the yacht, the ILB departed the scene at 01.35 am and returned to station and ready for service again at 01.50 am.

Credit is due to the RNLI volunteers who turned out at such a late hour. No fewer than 18 crew members and shore crew turned up and stood by ready to launch the all-weather lifeboat should it have been necessary. The incident bore similarities to the shout to three Irish sailors swept out to sea in the main channel and whose lives were saved by Barmouth RNLI a year ago.

Coxswain Pete Davies said: ‘Again, it was a very good turn out from the station. I am very glad that all the crew on the yacht were safe and well. They did the right thing by alerting us, it is always better to be safe than sorry.’


Heatwave keeps Barmouth RNLI busy at sea and on shore

With the beaches packed with holidaymakers, Barmouth RNLI crew volunteers were on alert at the lifeboathouse, prepared for a busy few days.

At 12.11 pm on Sunday 18 June they were tasked by UK Coastguard to go to the aid of a RIB drifting in Muddy Hollow, north of Sarn Badrig, approximately 12 miles away.

The all-weather lifeboat, the Moira Barrie launched at 12.20 pm and was with the casualty at 13.24. The two men on board had been fishing when the vessel suffered engine failure and they were unable to return to shore. A tow rope was attached to the boat and they were towed in to Caerddaniel caravan site off Llanaber. The men were taken ashore by Barmouth Inshore Lifeboat volunteers who also attended.

On their return, as the ALB approached the shore at Barmouth, they received a call from the Harbour Master asking them to delay recovery because an eight year-old boy was missing in the area. A shoreline search of the very crowded beach was started and, fortunately, the boy was soon located by the waiting shore crew and taken to his parents by the Harbour Master.

Later in the afternoon, after the ALB returned to the boathouse, the second coxswain received a call from an anxious mother that her eight-year-old was missing on the beach in front of the boathouse. The father also arrived and gave an accurate description of the youngster. With the aid of powerful RNLI binoculars, the eight-year-old, in distinctive red shorts, was spotted by the coxswain and was soon reunited with his grateful parents.

School hold Bake Off in support of Barmouth RNLI

Year 6 children from Wodensfeld Primary School in Wolverhampton held a Bake Off cake competition at their school in May 2017 to raise funds for the RNLI. 17 children took part and the standard of entries was very high. The money raised was donated to Barmouth RNLI when they visited the station on Tuesday 13 June. The children met members of the volunteer lifeboat crew and were shown around the Inshore and the all-weather lifeboats. Visits Officer Eve Williams said: ‘The children were very interested to see the boats and to know how RNLI volunteers save lives at sea. They left a delightful record of their achievements for the crew to see how the money was raised.’


Great excitement for WI visit to Barmouth Lifeboat station. 

Ladies from Llanfair Women’s Institute had a very exciting time during their visit to Barmouth Lifeboat Station on Thursday afternoon15 June 2017.  They were being shown around by Visits Officer Eve Williams and members of the volunteer crew when the crew pagers rang at 2.17 pm.

They had been tasked by UK Coastguard to go to the aid of a person in the water in the Mawddach Estuary. There were reports of a windsurfer and kayaker being involved. The Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) was launched at 2.22 and on arrival at the scene they found a 64 year-old windsurfer in the middle of the estuary near Mawddach Crescent with a person in a kayak nearby.
Sea conditions were quite rough with a south-westerly force 5 to 6 wind blowing. The windsurfer had lost his board and was up to his neck in water on a sandbank, holding fast on to the sail when the volunteer crew arrived.  His friend in the kayak was close by but was unable, in the strong wind, to help his friend to safety.

The casualty was taken aboard the ILB to Aberamffra Harbour where he was checked over by NHS Ambulance Service personnel.  The gentleman was shaken, but no further medical intervention was required, and the volunteer crew returned to the station at 2.46 pm.

Pauline Bedson of Llanfair WI said:

‘We were being shown around the ILB when the pagers went off and the volunteer crew told us they were about to launch.  We were very impressed by the speed and efficiency of the operation and it was very exciting to see the lifeboat launch at first hand.’

The following day, the kayaker called at the boathouse and spoke to second coxswain Rob williams who had helmed the ILB the previous day.

He said:
I want to thank you and the crew for the rescue yesterday.  There is no better feeling in the world when you are up to your neck in water than to see that little lifeboat coming towards you. Thank you so much for all you do’.


Boathouse Rocks yet again for Barmouth RNLI

Just in time, the changeable weather took a turn for the better on Sunday 28 May 2017 for the immensely popular Boathouse Rocks music event in aid of Barmouth RNLI. 

The wind dropped and the temperature rose as Batala Bermo opened the event with their magnificent drumming, drawing crowds to the RNLI Boathouse on the promenade.  The all-weather lifeboat, the Moira Barrie, was towed on to the beach to make room for local groups who generously gave their time and talents free and crowds soon assembled to listen to the music, and to enjoy the freshly served pork baps and home-baked cakes.  Families, holidaymakers and locals all turned out to soak up the atmosphere at a superb afternoon’s entertainment.

The ever-faithful Roy Ellis with Al Dean and the band performed with Gwynfor and Donna Morris, Chris Knowles, Anna Lewis and the Welfare Mothers and many other stalwart supporters.  And this year we were treated to some new young talent in the form of Callum Wright from Nantwich.  The audience were spellbound by a very impressive performance from this 18 year-old singer/songwriter who is surely destined for success.

Coxswain Peter Davies said ‘We are very grateful for the continued support we get from our local musicians and to the crew and fundraisers, who worked tirelessly from early morning to make the day such a huge success.  They enabled us to raise £1,765.68 from the event. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone for their unstinting generosity. It was a great afternoon.’

Busy day for Barmouth RNLI

Barmouth’s beaches were packed with holidaymakers enjoying the sunshine on Friday 26th May 2017 and members of UK Coastguard, the local Harbour Master and RNLI volunteers were on alert keeping a watchful eye on the many people using the water in the hot weather.

When the UK Coastguard paged them at 10.47am the RNLI Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) crew quickly launched to go to the aid of two persons in a rubber dinghy being blown offshore by the easterly wind.

They reached the scene, about a third of a mile out, at 10.54 am to find the occupants trying to row back, but without success.  They were brought back to the shore and the dangers of using a small inflatable boat in an offshore wind were explained to them.

Later at 01.33 pm the volunteer crew launched the ILB once more to another rubber dinghy, again with two people on board, this time about 150 metres offshore.   Both persons were brought back to the shore and handed to the care of the Harbour Master.

The ILB returned to station and was ready for service again at 2.05 pm.

Barmouth RNLI Inshore Lifeboat and helicopter tasked to person in the water in Cardigan Bay

At the request of UK Coastguard, Barmouth RNLI Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) was paged at 08.16 pm on Sunday 21 May 2017 to a report of a person in the water between Dyffryn Ardudwy and Shell Island.The SAR 936 helicopter was also tasked.

The sea was calm and the weather good when the volunteer RNLI crew launched at 08.22. They reached the scene at 08.38 pm to find one adult male in the water who had apparently come off his jet ski and had been swept out on the ebb tide 5 miles west of Shell Island. The man, who was shaken and cold, was taken aboard the ILB and kept warm while a tow was attached to the jetski. The man and his vessel were then returned to the care of UK Coastguard on the shore at Sunnysands, and no further medical assistance was required.

The ILB returned to station and was ready for service again at 21.40.

Barmouth RNLI launch to Motor cruiser

At a request from UK Coastguard, Barmouth RNLI were paged at 5.55pm on Sunday 7th May 2017 to go to the aid of a Motor Cruiser with three people on board which had broken down off Barmouth.

It was a fine, sunny afternoon with moderate sea conditions and a north-westerly force 3 wind.  The All Weather Lifeboat (ALB) the Moira Barrie was launched at 6.00pm and located the 26ft cruiser off Barmouth Outer Buoy, but was unable initially to establish communication with the vessel.  At this point, Rebecca Jayne, a fishing vessel from Shell Island who were near the broken down cruiser, offered to help pass on any communications.
When Barmouth ALB arrived at the scene, Equinox had been taken in tow by a 7metre rigid inflatable boat (RIB), the Flash Tango, so the ALB continued to escort both vessels into Barmouth harbour.   After the motor cruiser had been put on her mooring, Flash Tango, with two adults and two children aboard, then also broke down. The volunteer crew of the ALB then attached a rope to the RIB and she was towed to the pontoon alongside the harbour wall.  All occupants of both boats were wearing life jackets.

The ALB then left the harbour at 6.30pm and was re-fuelled and ready for service by 7.45pm.





Barmouth ILB launch to swimmers on Easter Monday

The Barmouth RNLI lifeboat house was full of holidaymakers enjoying tea and cakes at the Grand Easter Tombola on Monday 17th April when the pagers alerted the volunteer crew at 1.56pm. UK Coastguard had received a report that three swimmers were in difficulties in the main channel between Fairbourne beach and the perch.

Visibility was clear with a moderate sea, an ebb tide and a south westerly force 3 to 4 wind. The Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) was launched immediately and as the volunteer crew arrived on the scene they found that the three persons were making their way to the shore. It appeared that one person had got into difficulties and that two others had gone to his aid, all three made it safely back to the beach.

Coxswain Peter Davies and the volunteer crew ensured that all were safe and well and not suffering from water inhalation. They also issued safety advice to the casualties about the danger of swimming in the main channel with a fast ebb tide flowing. The ILB returned to the station at 2.15 and was ready for service by 2.35 pm.

Meanwhile, the fundraising tombola continued and the grand sum of £847.89 was raised for the RNLI. Those supporters present were able to see first-hand how their donations actually help save lives at sea.


Barmouth RNLI All-weather Lifeboat called out to yacht in difficulties

Barmouth RNLI lifeboat volunteer crew were requested by UK coastguard to launch both the all-weather lifeboat (ALB), and the Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) at 10.59 am yesterday, 3rd April 2017. It was first reported that a 30ft yacht was in difficulties near the north of Porthmadog Estuary. Coastguards from Criccieth and Harlech were on the scene, but were unable to refloat the vessel and Criccieth RNLI ILB was launched. UK Coastguard then requested both Barmouth lifeboats to launch to a vessel further south off Mochras. The ALB and the ILB launched but when the ILB arrived at the location, there was nothing to be found and it soon became apparent that the call was to the same boat so both lifeboats returned to station. As the All-weather lifeboat was being recovered, another request to launch was received from UK Coastguard. The ALB was relaunched at 12.15 and on arrival at the scene, there was very little water and heavy surf breaking around the yacht. After it was established that the yacht’s occupant was safely ashore and that there was no one else on board, Barmouth RNLI ALB returned to station.


Barmouth ILB launch to small cabin cruiser

In response to a request from UK Coastguard, Barmouth ILB was launched on Friday 31 March to the aid of a small cabin cruiser reported to be drifting unattended in the main channel. Visibility was clear with a moderate sea and southerly force 3 wind blowing. From the UK Coastguard report, it was not clear if anyone was aboard the boat. The RNLI volunteer crew were paged at 3.03pm, they launched the ILB at 3.07 and were on the scene at 3.13pm. It was quickly established that there was no-one on board the vessel and after a thorough search of the area a line was attached to the boat and it was towed to a mooring near Penrhyn Point. The owners of the boat were on the shore and informed the volunteer crew that the boat must have slipped its moorings. The ILB returned to the station at 3.50 and was ready for service by 4.00pm

Barmouth RNLI volunteers brave the Icy seas.

The sudden drop in temperature on January 1st was not enough to deter the hardy volunteers of Barmouth RNLI from taking their annual dip into the waters of Cardigan Bay once again on New Year’s Day.  Hundreds gathered at the boathouse on Barmouth promenade to watch friends and visitors from far and wide take the plunge to raise money for the RNLI.

At 11 am, on the instructions of Coxswain Peter Davies, young and old raced down the beach and threw themselves into the icy waters, some in fancy dress, and some in very little at all!  They all brought a welcome splash of colour and fun to the first day of January 2017 on Barmouth beach.

Hot drinks and a warming barbecue breakfast were served in the Lifeboat station, and the canons were again fired at noon in remembrance of past crew members.

A raffle was held by Et Cetera, the gift and homeware shop of Barmouth, who very generously offered the centre piece of their award winning Christmas window display.  The raffle for the beautiful rocking horse raised over £350.
Coxswain Peter Davies said: ‘All our RNLI volunteers and fundraisers are extremely grateful to locals and visitors who supported the dip.  Not only for their bravery today, but for their continuing generosity to Barmouth RNLI, and we would like to thank everyone for their support to the charity that saves lives at sea. We have raised over £1,000 today and there is still more sponsorship money to be collected. The proceeds will be put towards the Craig Steadman appeal to raise funds for the next D class Inshore lifeboat for Barmouth.’ 

Christmas Quiz success for Barmouth RNLI

On Wednesday 28 December, the popular quayside pub, the Last Inn, hosted a Christmas quiz in aid the RNLI. Some of the finest minds from the Barmouth lifeboat crew got together and entered a team, appropriately calling themselves ‘The Self-Righters’ and were surprised and delighted to be the overall winners . The prize was a bottle of Prosecco which will the team (very unselfishly) handed over to the fundraising team to use for further fundraising activities in 2017. The total raised during the evening was £137.37 which included a donation of £50 from Last Inn staff member Harry Potter. We are told this is a donation from his ‘Vain Jar’! Second Coxswain Rob Williams said: ‘We are very grateful to Greg and Debra Courtney of the Last Inn for their generosity, it was a great night. The proceeds from the event will be donated to the Craig Steadman appeal to raise funds for our new Inshore Lifeboat for Barmouth expected in July 2017’.

Pictured L to R: Crew Members Alex Hill, Jon Rollins and Russ Courtney, with Debra Courtney of the Last Inn and Second Coxswain Rob Williams.


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


Chris Cousens, RNLI Press Officer, Wales and West, on 07748 265496 or 01745 585162 or by email on Chris_Cousens@rnli.org.uk. 

and you can also 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