Penarth lifeboat was called out this afternoon to attend to a large motor cruiser reported to be taking in water off Penarth with a medical casualty on board.
A woman understood to be the wife of the boat owner was taken ill on board the vessel – with a suspected heart attack according to a PDN source .
The lifeboat brought the casualty vessel into the Penarth Locks of Cardiff Barrage and put crew members aboard to rig powerful pumps to try to stem the inflow of flood water.
The swimming platform at the stern of the vessel stern of the cruiser – which would normally be above the surface – was below water because of the amount of seawater which had flooded into the hull .
Meanwhile the woman who had been taken ill was given first aid on board the cruiser and then transferred to the lifeboat to be taken ashore via another lock then and disembarked at the water taxi berth near the Custom House.
Yet again there appeared to be a delay because the lifeboat crew did not have a key to admit the paramedics to the Cardiff Harbour Authority’s water taxi berth – exactly the same scenario which delayed paramedics on May 4th when they arrived to attend the injured first officer of a Trinity House vessel Galatea, who was also brought ashore at the Water Taxi pontoon.
Several other boats attempting to lock in at Cardiff Barrage were delayed and hundreds of visitors thronged the barrage and locks whilst the operation was under way.
The big offshore Barry Dock lifeboat Inner Wheel II with a heavy duty pumps on board was also called to Penarth to deal with the sinking cruiser. The Barry Dock lifeboat carries a large capacity salvage pump aboard which is designed to keep flooding vessels afloat
No sooner had Penarth Lifeboat Maureen Lilian returned to station on Penarth Esplanade than she was called back to Cardiff Barrage to deal with a second emergency – a woman with head injuries on a vessel called Cassy .
The casualty vessel was brought into the Penarth Locks safely and the patient examined by paramedics who found the injury was not as serious as had been feared and there was no need to take the casualty to hospital.
All information is subject to confirmation.