Penarth Lifeboat’s all-volunteer crew members were roused from their beds before dawn this morning to go the aid of a yacht which is understood to have run aground on the low tide.
It was the little D-Class inshore lifeboat Connie Daines – reputed to be Britain’s busiest lifeboat – which was launched to go the aid of the yacht “Storm King“which is understood to have gone aground .The yacht was refloated and taken to the Penarth Barrage locks where she was safely berthed without further incident .
Penarth RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Connie Daines has been called out so many times in the last six years that in July the local Olympic Gold Medal sailor Hannah Mills launched a £52,000 appeal for a replacement boat .
Last night Penarth Town Council’s policy and finance committee heard that the council had received a submission from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution or a financial donation towards this appeal and – regardless of whatever decision the council might make – the institution extended an invitation to councillors to visit the lifeboat station and meet the crews.
Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour Cornerswell) said the Lifeboat station was a “matter of pride for most Penarthians” . Cllr Thomas said “we should at least show our encouragement to them” and proposed that the council make a donation of £200 – but admitted that such a sum would “not make a big dent” in their costs for a replacement lifeboat. However the proposed donation would be “a gesture towards them – showing our support”.
Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) seconded the proposal. He said he was amazed at the number of call-outs which were responded to by Penarth lifeboat and suggested that in the case of Sully Island ( where people are regularly marooned) more preventative measures should be taken in the form of better public information.
Cllr Philip Rapier (Labour St Augustines) – said he would like to endorse what Cllr Williams had said . Every launch cost money he said – and, noting Cllr Williams’s point about public information, noted the recent tragedy at Camber Sands and the way “undertow currents work”. He thoroughly endorsed the proposed £200 donation.
Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell) however had a different proposal. “We know lifeboats are extremely expensive” – he said “and the people that man them do it out of their kindness”.
He proposed offering “ an event” be held in association with the RNLI to assist the institution to raise money itself – possibly in the Paget Rooms, on a day the venue was not already booked.
The Mayor Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) who is chair of the policy and finance committee, said he had already attended the appeal launch-event at the lifeboat station which had involved local Olympic gold medallist Hannah Mills.
Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines) suggested a concert be held to raise money in the Paget Rooms at which the RNLI “could raise quite significant amounts of money – particularly if they have a good attraction”. and suggested it be organised through the Mayor’s “good offices”.
The Mayor said he would consider it in the “crowded programme that I’ve got”.
However the Deputy Town Clerk Keri Hutchings then revealed that he had already had discussions with Penarth Lifeboat about such an event – details of which would be announced at the next meeting.