THE importance of staying safe at sea was highlighted on Saturday (May 3) afternoon, when emergency services were alerted to a teenage boy trapped on rocks.
The Tamar class lifeboat Mark Mason was returning to her station from the RNLI Safety Day at Milford Marina when she received a call from Milford Haven coastguard of a boy in difficulties at West Angle Bay.
Arriving at the scene at 4.05pm, the lifeboat’s Y Boat was deployed and the boy was located inland, about 20 feet up on rocks.
As the coastguard cliff rescue teams arrived on scene, RAF Helicopter Rescue 169 lifted the boy to safety in a nearby field.
Earlier that day, lifeboat crew had welcomed a steady stream of visitors for tours of the £2.6million state-of-the-art Mark Mason and to learn more about the work of the RNLI as part of the Safety Day.
Also flying the flag for the RNLI was the charity’s Sea Safety Road Show, which spent both Saturday and Sunday at the marina.
A key part of the visit was a lifejacket clinic, with visitors bringing along lifejackets and being shown how to check for faults, how to correctly wear the jacket and what to do for a monthly and annual inspection.
More than a third of lifejackets the RNLI sees nationally are found to be faulty, with more than five per cent having faults serious enough to prevent their operation.
In its first few hours, the Sea Safety Team had already recommended the disposal of six faulty lifejackets.
The RNLI’s Sea Safety Team is made up of highly experienced and knowledgeable volunteer Lifeboat Sea Safety Officers, who provide free sea safety advice - onboard and ashore - to all leisure boat users, from kayaks, personal water craft and dinghies, to sailing craft and large motor cruisers.
Bryn Rees, who has a motor sailer cruiser berthed at Neyland Marina, said the team provided a great service.
“It’s our responsibility as boat owners to be fully prepared before we go to sea, so we can take every possible step to avoid having to call on the services of an RNLI lifeboat,”’ he said.
“Prevention is better than cure.”
To ask the RNLI for free advice, ashore and onboard, visit the website at rnli.org/advice onboard.