D485 “Stafford with Rugeley” Inshore Lifeboat – Services 2003

26/1/2003. 1528
Crew were paged after a member of the public contacted the Coxswain on his mobile phone to report a sailing dinghy with 2 persons on board, had capsized off Rhos-on-Sea harbour. The Coxswain immediately contacted Holyhead Coastguard, who requested the AWB (All-Weather Boat) to stand by. The Honorary Secretary then told the waiting ILB (Inshore Lifeboat ) crew to launch. This they did within 3 minutes, and the crew took 25 minutes to travel the 10 miles to Rhos harbour. Once on scene the crew located the dinghy and her crew, who had just managed to make it safe back to the shore. The dinghy crew confirmed they had capsized twice, but were in no need of first aid, and so the ILB returned to station by 1658.


13/4/2003. 0245
The ILB crew were paged to assist Police officers and Coastguard personnel in recovering a young local male, who had stumbled off the rivetment wall marking the entrance channel into Rhyl harbour. He was seriously affected by alcohol , barely conscious, and hypothermia was evident. He was unable to help himself out of the mud at the side of the wall. The crew proceeded by road to the harbour, towed by the Landrover. It was evident the man was further out than first reported, and so the Coxswain and the 3 crew proceeded along the wall to assist the Police, and the ILB was returned to the boathouse. The County tractor towed the ILB and 2 additional crew members along the beach to the area. The Police helicopter illuminated the scene, and the man was transferred into the ILB and returned to the boathouse to a waiting ambulance. He was taken to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd hospital. The ILB was ready for service by 0355.


16/4/2003. 1355
A member of the public called the mechanic’s attention at the boathouse to an inflatable dinghy with 3 children on it, being blown out to sea off the beach opposite the Skytower. The ILB was just going on exercise with Mr. Andy Hurley, the Divisional training Inspector, so he went along too. The ILB was alongside within 2 minutes, the children were taken on board the ILB, and they and the inflatable were returned to the beach with a lecture about the dangers of an ebb tide and a strong offshore breeze. The ILB completed the service at 1410, and the crew started the training exercise.

1500
The crew had just finished their exercise and were just getting the boat on the carriage when another call came through that 1 child on another inflatable was having difficulty returning to the shore. The ILB made it’s way to the child through very shallow water, but the child finally managed to get ashore unaided. The ILB returned to station at 1510, with a very happy Inspector on board, as he’d hadn’t done 2 services in 1 day with an ILB !


12/5/2003. 2242
ILB launched to assist Coastguards with suicide attempt opposite Sandringham Hotel, Rhyl promenade. ILB got to scene just as Coastguards managed to retrieve the man from the water. ILB stood by until man and Coastguard team all safely ashore, then returned to station by 2320. AWB also requested to launch, but man was recovered before AWB got onto slipway.


18/5/2003. 2255
ILB requested to launch after a crew member’s wife spotted what looked like 2 persons hitting and dragging another into the sea off East Parade, Rhyl. The AWB also launched and was joined by Rhyl Coastguard teams and the local police. The shore teams came across 2 sets of footprints and a pool of blood at the water’s edge. The sea- and land-based teams searched for over 2 hours between Rhyl and Prestatyn, but did not find anything, and returned to station at about 0230.

It may be coincidence, but the next day, a small porpoise was washed ashore on Rhyl beach. It had injuries to the head area. Was the previous night’s incident connected? Perhaps they were helping the sick mammal back into the water? We shall probably never find out.. No persons were reported missing.


8/6/2003. 1601
A member of the public dialled 999, reporting 2 children trapped by the incoming tide on a sandbank off ASDA store, Kinmel Bay, 1 mile west of the station. Some of the crew were already assembled as they were waiting for the return of 12-24 from refit. The ILB was launched within 4 minutes, and the local coastguard team went by road to ASDA. On arrival, all that could be found was a young child swimming happily in the water. As the child was in no danger, the ILB took a short patrol of the area, but nothing was found, and all units returned to station by 1635.


17/6/2003. 0010
The ILB and Coastguard were paged to assist police in searching for a 29-year old male who had been involved in an argument with his partner in a snooker hall on the promenade, and had run out of the building and jumped over the sea wall. The tide was right up to the wall, and the man landed in the fast-flowing river Clwyd, and was swept upstream towards the harbour. As the ILB and coastguards arrived on scene, the man was pulled ashore by police in Rhyl harbour, and escorted to a waiting ambulance, slightly the worse for his ordeal. All units were stood down, and the ILB returned to station at 0040.


25/6/2003. 1651
ILB launched to go to the assistance of 3 persons in a 14 foot-long speedboat, broken down off Barkby Beach, Prestatyn. The boat was located within 10 minutes, and towed back to the beach, all on board OK. The ILB returned to station by 1745.


4/7/2003. 2328
The ILB was launched, with the ALB as back-up, after reports were given to Holyhead Coastguard of a person in the water, trying to commit suicide, at Abergele. 1 Parachute flare was fired and the boat searched the area. The person was located in the water after about 10 minutes, and 2 of the ILB crew entered the water to assist the man, who was taken back to shore to waiting Coastguards. The boat returned to station by 0125, being escorted back by the ALB.


6/7/2003. 1120
The ILB was already on a normal exercise when Holyhead Coastguard requested the crew to proceed to the Nova, Prestatyn, where a 51 year-old lady had been paddling in the sea, and had been stung by a weaver fish, whose spines on the fins can give a very painful sting if trodden on. The lady was suffering from severe shock when the crew arrived, but were able to calm the lady down until the ambulance crew arrived. The lady was taken to hospital and the ILB returned to station by 1210.


13/7/2003. 1152
ILB and AWB launched to search for overboard crew member from Rhyl Beach Guard’s patrol boat. Man swam ashore unaided. See AWB report for more details.

1748
ILB crew paged after 999 reports to Holyhead Coastguard that an inflatable with 2 children on board was in difficulty off the Suncentre in Rhyl. ILB crew assembled, together with Coastguard units, but it could be seen from the boathouse that the children had made it safely ashore. ILB crew was stood down, and assembly classed as “Standby” for ILB.


15/7/2003. 1029
ILB crew paged after it was reported to Holyhead Coastguard that there were 3 people trapped on a sandbank by the incoming tide off Towyn. As the ILB was leaving the station, the Coastguard were told all were now safe ashore and the ILB was stood down, classing this as a standby only.

1429
ILB crew paged after reports of a 4-month pregnant woman being dragged under by the tide at Abergele. A member of the public had thrown her a ball to hang on to, but she was still going under. The ILB crew proceeded at best speed, and arrived on scene just after another member of the public had succeeded to get the woman into water where she could stand up. The ILB crew assisted to get the woman to a waiting ambulance as she was in a poor state of health. The ILB crew then returned to station by 1540.


16/7/2003. 1845
ILB brought to immediate readiness to assist in search for lost child at water’s edge off Rhyl promenade. ILB was just about to be paged when it was reported the child was safe ashore. Classed as “standby”.


17/7/2003. 2028
ILB launched to person in water, 200m offshore Rhyl promenade, trying to attempt suicide (this was the same person the AWB was on standby for at 2324 last night). Police helicopter NW1 and local foot police were at water’s edge to guide ILB to the person. As the crew got alongside, the 20 year-old male went underwater. He was grabbed by the crew and brought aboard the ILB. He was suffering from hypothermia, and so the ILB returned immediately to the boathouse, where the man was transferred to a waiting ambulance.


19/7/2003. 0902
A member of the public dialled 999 saying there was a dinghy or similar object in the water off Castle Cove camp, Abergele. The ILB launched and searched the general area and then spotted the object about 600 metres out towards Llandulas. The object turned out to be a fully-assembled 2-man dome tent, upside down. The crew dis-assembled it and returned to the boathouse, where (if no-one claims it), it will be used for the crew’s children to play in on our barbeque nights! The ILB was ready for service by 1045.


20/7/2003. 1000
The parents of two 12-year old girls dialled 999 after their children were spotted being blown out to sea in an inflatable dinghy, due to the ebb tide and offshore wind, off Golden Sands Camp, Towyn. The ILB launched and found the children after 12 minutes. The girls were taken on board the ILB and returned to their parents on shore, shocked but otherwise unharmed. The ILB returned to station by 1045.


21/7/2003. 1420
Rhyl Beach guard reported to Holyhead Coastguard that they could see an inflatable being blown out to sea off Sunnyvale camp, Kinmel bay. The crew were paged and the ILB launched 4 minutes later. They made contact with the inflatable, and found it to be an inflatable chair, with no-one aboard, which had probably been blown off the land by the offshore breeze. They made a quick search of the area; found nothing; and returned with the inflatable back to the boathouse by 1445.


23/7/2003. 1619
ILB crew launched after family of 2 persons on board inflatable dinghy off Kinmel Bay, dialled 999 to Coastguard. There were 2 girls on the dinghy. 1 managed to swim ashore, but a male member of the party then swam out to the dinghy. He was unable to stop the dinghy being blown out due to the strong offshore breeze, and when the ILB came alongside, he was clinging to the dinghy. The 2 were taken on board the ILB and returned to waiting Coastguards on the beach. Due to their length of time in the water, the coastguards called for ambulance back-up, and the 2 casualties were taken to hospital. The ILB returned to station at 1658.


4/8/2003. 1406
Holyhead Coastguard requested launch of ILB after reports of 5 persons cut off by the incoming tide off ASDA store, Kinmel Bay. When the ILB arrived on scene, the people had managed to use an inflatable dinghy and get back to shore, all OK. The ILB returned to station at 1435.


5/8/2003. 1204
Offshore strong breeze and incoming tide – 2 factors to take unsuspecting people in dinghies away from shore quickly. ILB launched to 3 dinghies, (2 were found to be empty, 1 with 2 persons on board) off Towyn. The 2 persons were taken on board the ILB. 1 was suffering from hypothermia after being in the water for 1/2 hour, and the other had taken in a lot of water. The 2 were taken ashore at Towyn and transferred to a waiting Coastguard mobile and ambulance, and transferred to hospital. The ILB returned to station at 1250.

1312
ILB launched again to 2 more people in an inflatable off Towyn. They had been observed from the Lifeboat house to leave the dinghy and try to swim ashore, even though they were over 500m away from the shoreline. They could be seen having great difficulty swimming against the now ebbing tide and offshore breeze. When the ILB arrived alongside the pair, the 14-year old boy was struggling to keep afloat and went under. A crew member jumped overboard and managed to grasp the boy and steer him to the ILB. The crew member then went to the 15-year old girl and got her into the ILB. The boy was lapsing into unconsciousness and was given first aid and oxygen. After discussion with the coastguard, the ILB proceeded at best speed back to the boathouse to a waiting ambulance, where both teenagers were taken to hospital. The ILB was ready for service by 1341.

1538
ILB launched at request of Rhyl Coastguard mobile patrol to a dinghy about 1 mile off Pensarn, Abergele. On coming up alongside the dinghy, no-one was aboard. A quick search showed no sign of anyone in the water, and the ILB started to make for the boathouse –

1600
Rhyl beach guard had launched their boat to a report from their Prestatyn Lifeguard control that 3 people on an inflatable object were in difficulty off Ffrith beach, Prestatyn. The Lifeguard boat got there first and managed to get all 3 on board and returned them to the beach. The inflatable was a blow-up tube in the shape of a spiral! The ILB was stood down at 1615 and returned to station at 1620.

All 4 casualties were kept overnight in hospital for observation.


8/8/2003. 1524
ILB launched to search fro 3 separate missing children off Rhyl beach. The AWB was also tasked. The ILB had been searching for about 10 minutes; and the AWB was just launched when it was learnt that the 3 children had been found. Both boats returned to station by 1700.

1730
ILB requested to launch to 2 people cut off by the tide off the Suncentre at Rhyl. The ILB went across the gully to the sandbank and assisted the 2 people ashore, returning to station for 1740.


9/8/2003. 1736
ILB crew paged to assist 9 people stranded on sandbank off Rhyl by the incoming tide. ILB brought them ashore, and the tractor TW33 was also employed to assist other people on another sandbank where the water was not too deep in the gutter, but they were unsure of getting back. The Coastguard then asked the Landrover LR26 to patrol the beach for a while as the council-run beach guards finished at 1700. This was done with no further incident and all units were stood down at 1900.


11/8/2003. 1355
ILB crew paged after Holyhead Coastguard received a 999 call saying that there was a swimmer in difficulty off Pensarn Beach, Abergele. The AWB was also launched, and helicopter “Rescue 122” from R.A.F. Valley was tasked to assist in search. A complete search of the area and about 2 miles either side of the beach was conducted, with nothing found. The helicopter reported there were cormorants near the sewer outfall buoy off Pensarn, also a floating black plastic bag, and these could have been mistaken for someone in difficulty shouting for help. All units were stood down at 1500 and the boats were back on station and ready for service by 1630.(no-one was subsequently reported missing).


12/8/2003. 1544
Rhyl Beach Guard requested the launch of the ILB to search for a 6-year old girl, last seen at the water’s edge. The ILB launched and beach patrol vehicles searched the shore, and eventually the girl was found lost ashore. The ILB returned to the beach at 1605 and had just started back over the beach to the boathouse when-

1610
The beach guard reported another lost child, this time off Prestatyn. the ILB re-launched and was just approaching Prestatyn when the beach guard reported they had found the child. The ILB returned (successfully this time!) to the boathouse and was ready for service by 1630.


15/8/2003. 1135
Holyhead Coastguard requested ILB to launch to 6 people cut of by incoming tide off Kinmel Bay. As ILB crew were assembling, the beach guard at Rhyl reported all persons were now safe ashore. ILB stood down. Classed as standby.


16/8/2003. 1203
Rhyl Beach guard reported a large group of people cut off by the tide off ASDA superstore, Kinmel Bay. There was a crew already there, and the ILB was launched within 3 minutes. The coastguard also asked Rhyl Beach guard patrol boat to assist. Both boats arrived on scene within a minute of each other. There were 10 people on the sandbank, and the boats crews assisted the people to either wade or paddle ashore. Once all were safe ashore, the boats returned to Rhyl by 1235.


19/8/2003. 1440
The ILB crew were already at the boathouse for an Inspector’s visit, and the District Inspector, Mr. Andy Clift, was going over the visit when the coastguard at Holyhead rang to say that there were 9 people on a sandbank, cut off by the incoming tide off Towyn. The crew immediately got kitted up, and invited the Inspector along for the ride. This is the same sandbank where people were cut off on 16th August. The “brave” and “heroic” ILB crew (the Inspector told me to put that in!) got to the scene within 5 minutes but the people had managed to get ashore unaided. The crew returned to station by 1500. (The Inspector’s knees were hurting the next day!).


24/8/2003. 1510
The crew were all at the boathouse for the Annual Open day when the coastguard notified them that there were 3 children in a dinghy off Prestatyn who were crying for help. The ILB launched within 3 minutes, but before they got to Prestatyn, the coastguard mobile from Rhyl informed them that all children were safe ashore. the ILB returned to station at 1530.


1/9/2003. 1234
The ILB was launched to go to the aid of a lady and young girl who had been cut off by the incoming tide off Golden sands camp, Towyn, and were unable to climb over the rocks to safety. The woman had held the girl up as the water came up to her waist, and 2 passers-by had come to their assistance to get the girl to the top of the rocks. The woman, however, had slipped on the rocks and had injured her head and chest. the ILB arrived on scene, and the helmsman tried to get the nose of the ILB on the rocks, but could not hold it there. The woman would not go into the ILB as she was afraid of going down the rocks. The helicopter was called for, but Holyhead Coastguard informed the ILB that it would not be available for 35 minutes. The helmsman then directed the crew member to enter the water to assist the woman, and he swam ashore with oxygen and first aid kit. The woman was attended to, with the assistance of Coastguard, Lifeboat and ambulance personnel who had now arrived on scene. The woman was made comfortable until the helicopter arrived, when she was winched up and taken to hospital. The girl was also taken to hospital by ambulance. The ILB helmsman recovered the crew member and all units returned to station by 1400.


14/9/2003. 1525
ILB crew paged after Holyhead coastguard received a report of children in difficulty in an inflatable dinghy off the Skytower at Rhyl. The ILB launched and searched the area between the boathouse and the harbour, but could not find any dinghy at sea. There were 2 dinghies on the sands, and after discussions with people on the beach, it was determined that these must have been the ones reported, but all was well. The ILB returned to station at 1540.


15/9/2003. 1530
The mechanic was at the station when a call came through that 2 children were in a dinghy off Kinmel Bay and appeared to be having difficulty getting back to shore due to the ebbing tide. The ILB crew were paged and launched within 3 minutes. The 2 children were reached within 5 minutes, and were taken on board the ILB and returned to the shore. The ILB returned to station at 1550.


18/9/2003. 2125
ILB launched, and AWB put on standby, after North Wales Police reported to Holyhead Coastguard that a man had rung them, saying he was going into the sea to commit suicide off Splash point, at the east end of Rhyl promenade. The ILB searched for 10 minutes together with the North Wales Police helicopter (callsign-NW1) and Rhyl Coastguard mobile and foot patrols, until the units were notified that police on the promenade had apprehended the man. All units were stood down and the ILB returned to station at 2145.


26/9/2003. 1913
Holyhead Coastguard received numerous 999 calls from concerned members of the public, regarding 2 people who had come off a jet-ski at Penmaen Head, Old Colwyn, about 1/2 mile out from the “rainbow” bridge over the A55 expressway. 1 had apparently made it to the rocks, but the other was sat on the jet-ski. The ILB launched within 6 minutes (due to low water) and proceeded at full speed as it was now reported that the other rider was attempting to swim to shore, but making very little progress. The ILB was informed that “Rescue 122” from RAF Valley, Anglesey, and “NW1” the police helicopter, were also tasked to this incident. NW1 arrived on scene just as the light was fading, about 3 minutes before the ILB, and 6 minutes before 122. The police helicopter located the swimmer in the surf line off the rocks at Penmaen Head with the infra-red on board, and illuminated the scene for the ILB to go in close. 1 of the crew swam to the man and he was taken aboard the ILB. Coastguards from Rhyl managed to locate the other person on the rocks and assist him ashore. The ILB got a tow line on the jet-ski in the surf and towed it out of the surf line. As darkness had now fallen, it was agreed that LR26, Rhyl’s LandRover, would go by road to Colwyn Bay, where the jet-ski had started from, to recover the ILB. The men, both from Wigan, were staying on a campsite nearby, and had left their trailer there. The crew recovered the jet-ski first, and the 1 man was taken to a waiting ambulance, but was not too bad considering he had been in the water for nearly 90 minutes. He was wearing a drysuit which kept him insulated. The ILB was then recovered, and the crew returned to Rhyl by road, arriving at 2110.


3/10/2003. 1405
ILB launched to back up AWB in taking up and helping with the towing-in of an 18-foot yacht with 1 person on board, into Rhyl harbour. Once the boat was safely in Rhyl harbour, ILB returned to station by 1600. See AWB report for full details and link to photos when available.


12/10/2003. 1110
The crew were at the boathouse getting ready for an exercise, when the Lifeboat Operation Manager’s pager sounded. The Police had requested the attendance of Coastguard and Lifeboat to attend at the Marine Lake as they had a situation where a man had threatened suicide and had parked his car with the engine running on the slipway into the lake. The ILB had to stand by 2 streets away as the man was very agitated. After about 40 minutes, the police managed to calm the man down enough for him to exit the vehicle and be driven by a police officer back to his home. The Marine units were stood down, and the ILB returned to station at 1205.


16/11/2003. 0751
ILB crew paged to assist North Wales Police in search of River Clwyd for a female teenager who had threatened suicide in the early hours of the morning. She lived not far from the river and had intimated she would enter the water. The ILB was taken by road to Rhuddlan where the crew launched by Rhuddlan Castle and searched (with Coastguard personnel on the river banks) from Rhuddlan to Rhyl harbour. The police helicopter NW1 was also used, but nothing was found, and after searching for 2.5 hours, all units were stood down, the ILB being recovered in Rhyl harbour and returning to station by 1100.

1623
ILB paged to go to Prestatyn Barkby beach again for a female suicide in the water. The ILB crew requested the AWB to back up due to weather conditions. The ILB crew got to the Rhyl/Prestatyn boundary when NW1 (Police helicopter) reported the woman was ashore and in Police custody. All units were stood down and returned to station by 1725. (It is believed this is the same person as this morning, but this is unconfirmed). Report also on AWB page.

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