The RNLI’s newest lifeboat station at Portishead answered six callouts in ten days proving its operational readiness, even if they were all false alarms

The Portishead Lifeboat, which became part of the RNLI earlier this year, has had a very busy few days.

The first calls came on Sunday 26 July when the volunteers were called into action twice.  The crew were woken by their pagers at 0100 to assist the Coastguard in looking for an overdue canoeist in Clevedon, then again in the afternoon to assist a dingy sailor also in Clevedon who was in the water and appeared to be having difficulty in righting his sailing vessel.  Both ended well, after a thorough search the canoeist was discovered safely ashore and the sailor managed to right his vessel and was heading for Clevedon slipway when the Lifeboat crew arrived on scene.

On Friday 31 July volunteer lifeboat crew were asked to assist with an incident on Second Severn Crossing but were stood down just before launch, and later that afternoon reports came in of an upturned vessel seen in Clevedon.  On arrival the crew found a large piece of polystyrene and a balloon.

Cleaning the boat ready to go back on station

Cleaning the boat ready to go back on station

So far this week, the lifeboat was launched on Monday 3 August to reports of a person in the water off of Battery Point in Portishead. As this is a very dangerous part of water and very close to the shipping lane the Coastguard helicopter was also on scene.  After a detailed search it was reported that a swimmer had returned safe and well to Sugar Loaf beach.

Then on Tuesday 4 August the volunteers launched again as reports of another person in the water came in.  After a detailed search nothing was found and the crew were stood down.

RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, Bob Crane said: ‘Working with the Coastguard and Helicopter teams on some of these recent shouts, has been well executed and shows that our thorough training programme pays off in these scenarios. It has been a busy time and shows that our volunteers commitment never falters’.

  • William Mills

    It is really great that the RNLI investigates every reported sighting even though it turns out to be a false alarm.

    However if the call is bogus then the culprit should be brought to book.

    I recently heard of a sailor with an engine fault off the coast of France and rather than having to pay the French rescue services, he insisted that the Eastbourne Lifeboat come all the way across the Channel to tow him home for free!

    He got away with it.