Reliability, Performance, Compliance


Flares used to find stranded motorboat crew


When a stranded motorboat in Wales could not be found at night, flares were used to pinpoint its position.

One night in February, the UK Coastguard station at Holyhead paged the volunteer crew of the Beaumaris Lifeboat to assist a 24-foot motorboat thought to have run aground on the Caernarfon Bar.

The Beaumaris Inshore Atlantic 85 Lifeboat Annette Mary Liddington crew was told the casualty vessel was in danger of being damaged by the surf and that one of the adults aboard might need medical assistance.

Upon arrival in the area a search was undertaken but the lifeboat was unable to locate the other craft.

The UK Coastguard then asked the Treaddur Bay lifeboat crew to assist, as it was now believed the casualty boat might be in the Aberffraw area.

The vessel in distress had no working VHF radio aboard so communication was by mobile phone.

Whilst the vessel fired a hand-held flare, but it was not seen by the lifeboats. The Treaddur Bay lifeboat then fired a parachute flare and the Beaumaris lifeboat set off a parachute flare, but neither was seen.

A second flare was launched by the Treaddur Bay Lifeboat, which was spotted and the grounded vessel was located in Malltraeth Bay about 20 metres from the cliffs.

The Beaumaris lifeboat went alongside the casualty craft and placed a crew member aboard who discovered the two children and four adults on the boat needed no medical attention. The Beaumaris lifeboat, escorted by the Treaddur Bay Lifeboat, then performed an alongside tow out of Malltraeth Bay.

A Beaumaris lifeboatman started the engine of the casualty vessel and the Beaumaris Lifeboat stayed with the craft to escort her back into the Menai Strait.

The vessel was taken into Port Dinorwic marina. It was met by members of the Bangor Mobile Coastguard Rescue Team who helped secure the vessel and take the crew back to their vehicles at Port Penrhyn.

The image is courtesy of RNLI/Paul Blackwell and shows Beaumaruis Lifeboat launching at night.

Feb 27, 2018