Traffic came to a standstill on the Esplanade this afternoon as the inshore lifeboat crossed the road to the slipway

Traffic came to a standstill on the Esplanade this afternoon as the inshore lifeboat crossed the road to the slipway

Penarth’s inshore lifeboat Connie Dains was launched this afternoon at the request of Milford Haven Coastguard to go to the aid of 8 people who were trapped by the incoming tide on Sully Island.

Only an hour before the launch  Penarth Lifeboat Operations Manager Jason Dunlop had warned on Twitter that anyone on or near the island should make sure they checked the tide times. The RNLI “traffic light” alarm system on the mainland at Sully was operating as usual  .

Every lifeboat launch - including this one today - involves 12 volunteers all carrying out well-drilled tasks.

Every lifeboat launch – including this one today – involves 12 volunteers all carrying out well-drilled tasks.

In the event, the alarm was raised just 60 minutes after Mr Dunlop’s prophetic “Tweet”  as coastguards received a report of eight people being trapped on the island. Three tents had also been pitched there .

The RNLI has no choice whether to respond  or not. Mr Dunlop said “If people start crossing [ – i.e. wading across the causeway as the tide rises] we have to go”  .

The last of the crew of three jumps aboard for the 12 minute run to Sully Island

The last of the crew of three jumps aboard for the 12 minute run to Sully Island. Minutes earlier they were all busy doing their ordinary day-jobs.

Jason Dunlop holds a number of awards for his lifeboat service

Jason Dunlop holds a number of awards for his lifeboat service

After the eight campers  had been safely brought ashore at Swanbridge, Jason Dunlop appealed to anyone visiting Sully Island to always ensure that they have carefully considered the tide-times and weather conditions before setting out.

He says “Any persons on Sully Island finding themselves at risk from the incoming tide should remain on land and call 999 and ask for the coastguard, rather than attempting to make their own way back against such a strong tidal force.”

The crew's radio operator informs the coastguard the lifeboat is launched on its way.

The crew’s radio operator informs the coastguard the Penarth lifeboat is launched and on its way.

It normally takes the lifeboat about 12 minutes to reach Sully Island from Penarth and the procedure then is to ferry the casualties ashore in relays and deliver them into the hands of Penarth Coastguard officers

Some of today's casualties being disembarked at Swanbridge today (Photo Penarth Coastguard)

Some of today’s casualties being disembarked from the lifeboat and discharged into the care of Penarth Coastguard officers at Swanbridge (Photo Penarth Coastguard)

Today –  once again –  Penarth Coastguard officers  – supported by Barry Coastguard officers checked each of the casualties as they were landed by the lifeboat at Swanbridge. Coastguards then carried out a search of the island to ensure that all persons were accounted for . Three tents had been abandoned on the island

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  1. CoexistinPenarth says:

    I understand that they have to rescue them but I think they should start charging the idiots a fee!

    • Bobby says:

      Why are they idiots? It is very easy to walk across to Sully Island without passing the traffic lights (which I think are too tucked away to be easily noticed anyway) and the signs. So if they are not local to the area and are unfamiliar with the extreme tidal range (highest in Europe remember) then how are they meant to know that they will be cut off from the mainland when the tide comes back in?? So your suggestion that they should be charged a fee is pointless and could even encourage some people to try and cross back as the waters are rising and risk getting swept away; which you’d no doubt also call them idiots for doing so.

      Lets not forget that RNLI’s own advice to people stranded on the island is to call the coastguard and not to try and cross back over!

      • CoexistinPenarth says:

        They are idiots because the path over to Sully Island is clearly tidal and even if they don’t see the warning lights (which I think is unlikely) you don’t cross a causeway without checking you can get back safely first. You google the tide times, you ask in the pub or you read the signs that are all around the footpath. People should have more respect for the sea and the danger of being swept away, you don’t mess with the sea and if you do, you are an idiot.

        People don’t seem to realise that the volunteers at the RNLI have to leave their jobs or their families, often risking their own lives, in order to rescue people. It would save a lot of hassle if people took the time to risk assess first. It is the same as climbing a mountain. You wouldn’t climb up the Brecon Beacons without checking the weather first so why would you cross a tidal causeway without checking the tides?!?

  2. Christopher David says:

    .Leave them on there for a tide.

  3. Peter Church says:

    I heard they are Labour Voters and the party machine are keen to get them back on dry land. Money no object it seems

  4. Christopher David says:

    Well same IQ innit 😉 still- nowt else in Wales really.

  5. sjleworthy says:

    Leave them to the sharks and killer rabbits

  6. Christopher David says:

    Bobby if you have to ask……………! Honestly Bob- they’re idiots.

  7. Louise says:

    As a school girl I used to regularly visit Sully Island with school friends and we never got caught by the tide. These people are complete dumbos.

  8. AK says:

    Plenty of warning signs on Sully island as well.


  9. Yotty says:

    Visitors from inland have no concept of the tides.
    It would be interesting if the coast guard who ‘give advice’ to the rescued could provide a list of towns where these people come from going back say 3 years. I’m willing to bet none are local to any location with big tides like ours.

  10. Fishhenge says:

    Agreed, idiots!

  11. Penarthmami says:

    its a huge drain on the charity that rescues them, something needs to be done, visitors from outside do not see the danger, it is an unusually fast turning tide which catches people out with deathly consequences , all I can say is I am so thankful for Penarth Lifeboat Station, they have saved a lot of lives! without them going over i think more would try to cross.

  12. Colin says:

    Couldn’t CAVRA help out, or do they just look after santas float?

    • Jamie says:

      Good question Colin . No doubt that the volunteers from cavra would be will to assist . I guess it’s has to do with politics . I guess that if asked by any organisation they would be there to help . Even if it was to give safety advice and information on the tidal times .

Comments are closed.