Penarth's Inshore Lifeboat being launched on today's rescue mission to Sully Island

Penarth’s Inshore Lifeboat being launched on today’s rescue mission to Sully Island

Five children and three adults were rescued by Penarth’s Inshore lifeboat today after some of them had made an unsuccessful attempt to cross the fast-flooding natural causeway linking the island to the shore at Swanbridge.

The actual details of today’s RNLI Sully Island rescue run are probably so familiar to PDN readers they could probably fill in the details for themselves – but, here minute by minute is what actually happened:-

Penarth Lifeboat's course to Sully Island and back today

Penarth Lifeboat’s course to Sully Island and back today

The alarm was raised just after 15:31 this afternoon.

  • By 15:47 Penarth’s small inshore rescue boat Connie Dains is launched. The Marine tracking service shows her  running at 24.3 knots (28 miles an hour)  – heading South.
  • At 15:49 she’s going even faster at 24.6 knots . And for anyone who thinks that’s not very fast in a car – it’s a different matter if you’re a lifeboat crew member, on your knees, on the surface of the Bristol Channel.
  • At 15:50 at 20.4 knots her coxswain – or “helm” – has throttled back a bit as the lifeboat reaches Lavernock Point. There are lots of rocks offshore being covered by the incoming tide .
  • At 15:51 She’s “rounded the corner” and is  back at 21.8 knots heading West. Sully Island is in sight ahead
  • At 15:54 she’s down to 3 knots – carefully coming up towards the tidal causeway between Sully Island and Swanbridge

At 16:09 the first casualties are being landed at Swanbridge as the lifeboat begins a shuttle operation  – providing each casualty with a lifejacket and delivering them to  Penarth Coastguard Officers on the shore at Swanbridge.

  • At 16:23  the final casualties are being picked up from Sully Island
  • At 16:39 Connie Dains is back up to 24.7 knots heading east for Lavernock Point
  • At 16:48 she’s arriving home at  Penarth Slipway
  • At 16:50 she’s back on the trailer at the Penarth Lifeboat station,  task completed  – job done
Penarth's Inshore lifeboat Connie Dains reached Sully Island in 12 minutes from Penarth

Penarth’s Inshore lifeboat Connie Dains reached Sully Island in 12 minutes from Penarth

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  1. EH says:

    Surely this has gone beyond a joke. It’s like a (free) taxi service. Have the lights made ANY difference? What do RNLI guys think about all this I wonder – pain in butt or a useful training exercise. It would be interesting to know.

  2. AK says:

    Plus another hour or so to clean the boat and kit.

    So two and a half hours of valuable time, of each of the (eight or so) volunteers for more idiots who have no common sense.

  3. An annoyed reader says:

    If they were “ACTUAL” casualties in that they were injured and were unable to exit the island before the causeway covered then I’m sure the RNLI would be happy to assist.But as what is usually the case they couldn’t be bothered looking at the information on display and think they know “BEST”.It’s about time a fee was charged to return the morons to safety..I say leave them there for six hrs and they might think twice next time and maybe spread the word it’s not a “FREE” taxi service back to shore!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Frank Evans says:

    Morons. Leave them there. What are fice children?

  5. Cask says:

    How irresponsible 3 adults risking the lives of 5 children!

  6. An even more annoyed reader says:

    I say leave the adults on the island and return the children to a more competant adult.what an embarrassment to parenting I hope they read these comments.maybe they will go to RNLI shop and make a substantial donation for wasting resources that could well have been needed for a REAL emergency…

  7. Jane Foster says:

    This will keep on happening until the lights and/or some kind of klaxon or other audible warning are also installed on the island itself. It is all too easy to lose track of time when you’re doing fun stuff and nobody can be prepared for quite how fast the tide comes in on both sides simultaneously unless you’ve actually seen it for yourself.

    And please, PDN, can you filter out some of the more ridiculous trolling? Honestly sometimes the replies are worthy of You Tube or even the Daily Mail and quite frankly, PDN is much better than that.

  8. Yotty says:

    I refer to a previous comment I have made about this. Where do these people normally live?
    I think they are unlikely to live in an area close to the sea and even if they do,they may be in an area of small tides, not our local monster ones.
    Are they day trippers or staying in the local caravans? Maybe a small partial solution is for the holiday homes to include tide warnings in their welcome packs. And there are so many other access points to the beach they may not even pass the traffic lights.
    They are not necessarily idiots. They’re just ignorant of the tides and just see a nice walk to an interesting lump of rock.
    Sits back and opens pop corn.

  9. The Tax payer says:

    I sort of understand what most people are saying about it being a waste of time and money for the RNLI. However the strange thing is one of the reasons Penarth ILB was set up in 1980 was for this very reason of the Sully Island run and to save Barry dock lifeboat having to attend.
    No easy safe answer to this as if the Crews don’t attend and it ends in a death that will be wrong so well done to all the crew who have always attended Sully and don’t think any really mind as this is the type of thing they signed up for at Penarth and it is also good training for new crew members.

  10. Old sea dog says:

    The RNLI does not and cannot charge for the ‘rescue’.

    There are more than adequate signs, either on the beginning of the causeway, or on the island. It isn’t difficult to work out that if you cross wet sand and seaweed to get there, then the chances are it gets covered in sea water.

    Useful training for the crews, in difficult tides. Just as the water covers the causeway it is in the middle of its range, so it rises half of the range in the two hours mid tide That could be a 3m rise in one hour, and that is why a swift rescue is essential.

  11. bizzilizzi says:

    Please can the rules about rescuing be set out briefly for readers. It surely would be possible to ask for a donation from the rescued, otherwise the work that those who raise the funds for the lifeboat seem to be taken advantage of.
    There is a clear difference between boats which need help and accidents at sea and island visitors who surely know that they are running a risk.A klaxson on the island seems a good idea.
    How harmful would it be to leave them on the island until it is safe for them to return unaided so long as this is made clear on a notice.

    • Old sea dog says:

      There are no rules about rescuing them. The lifeboat is crewed entirely by volunteers, and paid for by voluntary donation.

      The crew will drop whatever they are doing, and rush to the boathouse as soon as their pager sounds. After the ‘shout’ they will spend an hour or so cleaning, checking and preparing the boat again. Something like eight or ten people will usually respond to the call, and sometimes both boats are required.

      They would far rather collect stupid people from Sully Island than to have to search miles away for a child’s body where the stupid people have tried to wade across against the fast flowing tide.

      The causeway tide was shown on BBC ‘Coast’ (I think), where one of the presenters tried to stand on the causeway – she was quickly swept off her feet.

  12. Parcel says:

    There appears to be no answers to this this phenomenon, which occurs far too often to even b news anymore. Perhaps barriers should b erected across the causeway which are only open when the tide is rite ………….
    Then theres alway some brite spark who wants overstay their welcome.

  13. Parcel says:

    Comments dont seem to always make it, wonder how many are left out………

Comments are closed.