Porthcawl RNLI lifeboat crew rush from a wedding to a rescue mission

Jessie and Mark Broadway share their experience of their big day which had a bit of a twist!

A wedding ceremony in Porthcawl was interrupted by an emergency mission to save the lives of people stranded at sea.

Porthcawl RNLI’s volunteer crew were paged at 2.17pm on Saturday 18 March by HM Coastguard – during the wedding for fellow crew member Reverend Mark Broadway to Jessie Wilde.

Several crew left the ceremony at All Saint’s Church to respond to a report that two people were cut off by the incoming tide at Dunraven Bay, Southerndown.

The vicar, Reverend Wayne Massey started the service by saying, "Switch off your phones, unless you’re lifeboat crew and might get a shout."

But the Reverend added, "I didn’t really expect that 17 minutes into the ceremony the pagers really would sound followed by crew rushing out of the church."

When the crew arrived at the lifeboat station they had to swap their wedding suits for drysuits and launched the charity’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat, Edna May and D Class lifeboat, Hugo Missen

Jessie Broadway wasn't expecting her wedding to start off in the way it did! Credit: @hector.and.hardy

The crew of the Atlantic 85 lifeboat first arrived on the scene and crew member Luke Anderson went ashore to reassure the casualties.

However, it was decided that due to a large swell causing the waves to break onto the shore, the safest option to save the casualties was to use the coastguard helicopter.

After helping the casualties, it then took them to a field above the clifftop where the coastguard teams had secured a landing site.

Responding to the situation, Luke said: "Within the space of an hour I was sat in a church for one of the crew’s weddings, then I found myself on the lifeboat, followed by a short trip in a helicopter and ended up stood in the middle of a field in Southerndown.

The happy couple couldn't resist getting a photo in the lifeboat to mark the occasion. Credit: @hector.and.hardy

"As the surf breaking onto the shore was quite large it was safer for me to get picked up by the helicopter than make my way back out to the lifeboat from the shore."

Reverend Mark Broadway said: ‘Thankfully I wasn’t on call during my wedding to Jessie but many of the crew who were at our wedding were.

"It’s the first church service I was involved in where the pagers have gone off. It was quite fitting for our guests to see how RNLI volunteers will drop everything to respond when the call comes as we’d asked guests to donate to our chosen charities rather than give gifts and the RNLI was one.

"The D Class crew stopped off outside the church on their way back from Newton slipway to congratulate us just after the ceremony had finished. It was great to see the crew and as they had the D Class with them it gave us a lovely opportunity to have a photo on the lifeboat."

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