RNLI called out to bad weather rescue
PUBLISHED: 15:00 05 January 2012
RNLI crews were called out on Tuesday night during torrential conditions to a rescue in the Bristol Channel.
Police spotted a flashing light in the seas between Birnbeck Island and Steep Holm Island which was flashing irregularly, suggesting it wasn’t a normal navigation marker.
Crews became concerned when the light seemed to respond to attempts to communicate by torch, suggesting it was a casualty in difficulty at sea.
After launching in driving winds and rain, crews found only a buoy fitted with a flashing light, which must have been obscured by high waves causing the flashing to seem irregular.
The search was called off and crews returned to the lifeboat station on Birnbeck Island.
RNLI Helmsman Liam McDermott said; ‘Although the conditions out there were appalling that is what we train for and that is why we have the lifeboats and equipment to deal with it. It may have been what we call a ‘false alarm with good intent” but we would rather go out and check for ourselves than possibly leave anyone out at sea who needs us.’