Two fishermen who were out fishing in the early hours of Sunday had to be rescued when their boat went aground and filled with water.
In the early hours of Sunday morning flares were sighted off Anchor Head in Weston Bay. Swansea Coastguard called out Weston-super-Mare RNLI lifeboat. As it was nearly low water the lifeboat crew had to go onto Birnbeck Island and launch both lifeboats housed there.
This was about 3;30 in the morning and so it was pitch black. The launch was made more difficult because the normal lights on Birnbeck were not working and so the lifeboats were launched in the dark within seven minutes of the call..
The lifeboats made their way to the casualty which was just visible on foreshore near Anchor Head. The vessel was aground on mud but had taken on too much water to refloat. At the time that the lifeboats arrived on scene the casualty vessel was mostly submerged and both crew were at least thigh deep in water. They had fired three distress flares. The Atlantic 75 Coventry and Warwickshire returned to Birnbeck with the two adult male casualties and then returned to assist the D Class lifeboat in salvaging as much kit as possible before vessel capsized. The vessel's crew were handed over to Coastguard for debrief and medical check.
– Charlotte Conroy, Lifeboat Operations Manager designate
This was an exceptional response to a very dangerous situation with the tractor driver having to launch into complete darkness due to no slipway lights. Without doubt two lives were saved by the rapid response and launch of the Atlantic 75 from Birnbeck Island.