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:-
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