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WATCH: Dramatic rescues by the RNLI

Lifeguards in North Somerset are warning it's only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt or killed in the region's waters

The number of people being rescued at Weston-super-Mare has risen by a third compared to the total for last year - and there's still a month of the summer holiday to go.

We've got dramatic footage of two rescues.


Elderly woman rescued from River Avon with possible hypothermia

Rescuers used an inflatable raft to reach the woman. Credit: Avon Fire & Rescue

A woman in her seventies has been rescued from the River Avon in Bristol.

Firefighters, police, paramedics and the RNLI joined forces this morning after reports of a woman at the Cumberland Basin.

Rescuers used an inflatable raft to paddle to the woman, who was found on a mudbank near Bedminster Bridge.

She was hospitalised with suspected hypothermia.

RNLI volunteers warn of the dangers of strong tides

RNLI volunteers in Weston-super-Mare rescue a stranded yacht crew. Credit: Weston super Mare RNLI

This weekend, RNLI volunteers in Weston-super-Mare were needed to rescue several members of the public, who had been caught out by strong tides.

On Saturday, a member of the public reported seeing a small yacht in apparent difficulty out in Weston Bay.

By the time the rescue boat had reached the yacht it had drifted well out to sea but the occupants were unaware of danger they could have been in.

The lifeboat was also launched on Sunday evening when a man, woman and their dog were spotted stranded on the rocks, after being cut off by the tide.

RNLI are urging people to take extra care over the summer holidays, as being cut off by strong tides is very common in the waters of the Bristol Channel.

Hot weather warning after couple are rescued from sea

RNLI lifeboat Anna Stock comes to the rescue of two holiday-makers who got into trouble off Weston-super-Mare Credit: RNLI

The RNLI is warning people to be sensible in the heat. It comes as a couple had to be rescued after getting into difficulties in the sea off Weston-super-Mare

The lifeboat was launched after the man and woman from Sutton Coldfield were spotted hanging onto the struts of Birnbeck Pier yesterday afternoon, 30 June. They were brought aboard and taken to shore at Knightstone Harbour where they were checked over and left to carry on their holiday.

The speed of the tide running under Birnbeck Pier could have put these two into serious danger. Although it is very hot we do not advise swimming in the Bristol Channel unless you keep well in to the beach or you know the waters very well.

– Terry Wells, Helmsman

The RNLI filmed the rescue, which you can watch here:

RNLI volunteers save two men in a blow-up dinghy

Lifeboat crews rescue two men in a blow-up dinghy near Weston-super-Mare's Grand Pier Credit: RNLI

Beach rangers spotted a dinghy drifting 2 miles out to sea from Weston's Grand Pier yesterday afternoon. After failing to attract the attention of anyone on board they called the Coastguard. A lifeboat was sent within minutes, despite the crew all having to be called in from their day jobs.

The crew found two men on board, they did not realise they were drifting with the strong tides.

The dinghy was a small blow-up craft bought from the seafront. They had no proper life saving equipment with them. When the lifeboat arrived they realised the dinghy was leaking and in danger of sinking.

These young men were very lucky. Not only were they being carried out to sea by the tides but their dinghy was completely unsafe for the Bristol Channel. Also it was sinking and if we had not got to them they would have ended up struggling in the water.

We want people to enjoy the water, particularly in this hot weather, but take care. Dehydration sets in very easily and the sea is much colder than one might think, particularly offshore.

Only use good quality craft if going on the sea, make sure you have lifejackets and a means for calling for help.

– Liam McDermott, Helmsman


New site for lifeboat station in Weston-super-Mare

After a long search the RNLI says it has found a location for a new lifeboat station in Weston-super-Mare.

For the last year it has been based in a temporary station after it was forced to leave its historic home on Birnbeck Pier. The service now wants to build a new station on Madeira Cove but the RNLI may need to raise up to £4 million for it.

You can watch Robert Murphy's report below:

New Portishead lifeboat house takes shape

The new boathouse takes shape at Portishead Credit: Helen Lazenby

Work on the new boathouse for Portishead's RNLI Station is progressing well and the Chairman of the appeal to raise £180,00 to pay for it says the response from the public has been extremely encouraging.

‘We can’t thank people enough for their generosity and must pay tribute to all our friends from many of the local RNLI fundraising branches in Gloucester, Bristol and Somerset, and further afield, who have all been working flat out and contributing to the Appeal’s success.

Even after extending the Appeal by an additional £52,000, which will pay for the volunteer crews changing facilities, this support has continued and we are delighted to be able to see the target within sight

– Jon Yabsley,Chairman Portishead RNLI Boathouse Appeal
A digger works on the Portishead boathouse construction Credit: Helen Lazenby

RNLI rescue man in yacht from Bristol Channel

A lifeboat crewman was forced to jump into the Bristol Channel to rescue a man whose yacht had run aground.

The man got into difficulty on Sunday afternoon in the strong winds off Clevedon beach.

When crews arrived, there was only one metre of water around the yacht so a crew member had to get out and swim to it to tow it out of danger.

It soon became clear that yacht was in serious danger of being turned on to its side. It was clear that the yacht was now crashing down directly on the sea bed. The volunteer crew had to work quickly and professionally to decide the best way to assist the person on the yacht. This was going to be a tricky manoeuvre for the volunteers.

– Dave Herbert, Lifeboat spokesman

The yacht was towed to Portishead Marina where it was handed over to the Portishead Coastguards.

ITV tackles a tonne of water to see the power of the sea

The RNLI has begun a "Respect the Water" campaign in the West Country. 32 lives were lost on the south west coast last year and it wants beach-goers and surfers to take more care.

The RNLI shows the sheer power of the sea by challenging the ITV team (and friends) to move a tonne of water Credit: ITV News/James Chapman
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