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 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.
THE RNLI has had to rescue a number of people from its former home on Birnbeck Island in Weston-super-Mare after they got trapped by incoming tides.
The rescue charity recently abandoned the lifeboat station because of safety concerns about the pier.
On Saturday the coastguard alerted the RNLI that a man and his young daighter wewre trapped on the Island. The Operations Manager Pete Holder went to the site and unlocked the slipway gate to allow them to leave.
Shortly after, while still on the Island, Mr Holder noticed a couple of other people making their way off the Island along the shingle bank causeway.
As these people started to reach the mainland he then noticed two more adults together with two very young children and a dog coming towards the Island along the shingle bank from the mainland,
He hailed them and warned them to turn back as the tide was flooding and would soon start to cover the causeway.
They ignored his warnings and they came across the causeway and up the Lifeboat launch slipway carrying fishing boxes and rods. Once again he gave them a warning about the incoming tide and that as the island and buildings were unsafe they could not stay.
He offered to escort them off the Island via the pier walkway. However they decided to leave the island the way they had come.
Unfortunately the shingle bank towards the shore was now separated by the incoming spring tide. Despite numerous shouts by the Mr Holder and others to stop and turn back these were ignored and the adults then entered the water with the children on their shoulders.
At this point the very experienced Lifeboat Manager phoned Swansea Coastguard to call out the lifeboat crew as he feared there would soon be an immediate threat to life for all four of the family and dog if they didn't turn back.
The people continued to wade through the ever deepening water which was now running at more than 2 knots across the shingle bank. As the Lifeboat Crew arrived at the boathouse the casualties were up to their armpits and struggling to reach the mainland.
As the Atlantic 75 lifeboat, still housed at Birnbeck, was made ready to launch they just managed to reach the mainland. There they were met by the police and coastguard to be warned about their behaviour.
Pete Holder said;’ Birnbeck Island is private and trying to get to it should not be attempted even by the most experienced. Why do you think the lifeboat crews now only use the island in emergencies?
The tides around the island are vicious, will catch you out and can kill. These people today came closer to death than they have ever been.’