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 .
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” .
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.”
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
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