An eagle-eyed member of the public this afternoon reported what looked like a vessel in distress on the sandbanks – about a mile out to sea from Penarth.
The boat seemed to have been abandoned with heaven-only-knows what consequences for whoever had been aboard.
The coastguard headquarters at Milford Haven alerted Penarth RNLI. Despite the fact that it was almost low water, Penarth’s new D Class lifeboat “Spirit of Penarth II” was launched after a long tractor push beyond the end of the lifeboat slipway and across the soft sand and mud to reach the sea.
Spirit of Penarth II duly reached the scene of the ‘casualty’ on the sandbanks and found a white runabout solidly aground and a fishing boat nearby, anchored in deeper water.
Eventually the three people who had been aboard the white runabout turned up. They’d been on a leisurely walk along the sandbank and were planning to have a picnic there – something which they’ve done many times before.
The sandbank offers long stretch of golden sand and was once the venue of an annual (low-tide) sandbank cricket match in which the late Prime Minister and MP for Cardiff South James Callaghan used to participate.
Duly satisfied that – at least this time – no one needed rescuing, Spirit of Penarth II returned to the lifeboat station .
Earlier in the day the larger Atlantic 85 Penarth lifeboat Maureen Lilian had also been out on the water participating in an impressive co-ordinated rescue display with the local Coastguard helicopter .