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No flares, no lifejackets, what's new?

11th August 2009
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No flares, no lifejackets, what's new?

At ten minutes to five this evening, Holyhead Coastguard were alerted to three people who had launched a 12 foot white speedboat with a red stripe called ‘Ring 15’ into Bull Bay around an hour previously and had not returned.

The craft had an outboard engine and was carrying only two lifejackets for the three people on board. It also possessed no VHF radio. Two of the people on board were teenagers of 16 years old and the craft was being driven by the father of one of the young people.

The local informant told the Coastguard that the craft had driven out into the bay and .”.turned left.” The driver of the vessel had also locked his mobile phone in his car.

No passage plan had been worked out for the vessel and therefore its whereabouts was unknown. No flares were being carried on board.

In the subsequent search, two Coastguard Rescue Teams were turned out; two all weather lifeboats were requested to launch and one inshore lifeboat was also called upon.

Eventually the people were found after 6.00 pm cold but well, 5 nautical miles from Bull Bay with the weather deteriorating with squalls and southwesterly winds of 20 – 25 knots. The seas locally were 1 – 2 metres high.

Barry Priddis, Watch Manager at Holyhead Coastguard said

“This is a definite fail. When these three visitors to our coastline who were on holiday locally were found they were cold and shivering. There are clearly some basic safety lessons to be learnt by anyone attempting to do likewise.

“Carry some form of communication to alert the Coastguard to your plight; carry flares to direct a rescue unit to your position; carry enough lifejackets for you and your passengers. Wear or stow warm clothing. Carry some form of lighting if it should get dark. We wish our visitors a very happy holiday – but please, stay shoreside.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Afloat.ie Team

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