PENARTH RNLI have warned that unless people bring appropriate safety equipment with them at sea they could be putting their lives at risk.
It comes after two call-outs for the volunteer lifeboat crew in the space of one day during the warm weather on Wednesday, July 30.
The first came at 4pm after Swansea Coastguard paged the crew directly because they had received a report of two kayaks in trouble off Sully’s slipway.
The smaller of Penarth’s two lifeboats launched to search inshore between Sully Island and Sully Sailing Club. The crew was eventually stood down after Penarth Coastguard reported that they had found the kayakers on the slipway of Sully Sailing Club, safe and well.
But they were given safety advice as the kayakers did not have lifejackets or buoyancy aids, or any means of communication if they got into distress.
“Anyone going into the water with a kayak or canoe should always wear a buoyancy aid or lifejacket in case of capsizing”, said Laurie Pavelin, Penarth lifeboat station Sea Safety Officer.
“If you do capsize, the lifeboat stands every chance of finding you alive and rescuing you. If you don't, you significantly increase the likelihood that any search is for a body. Always carry some means of communicating with people on shore, such as a waterproof marine radio or flares; or, as a backup, your mobile phone in a waterproof pouch”, he added.
The second shout came at 10pm when Penarth’s larger Atlantic lifeboat launched to assist a yacht which had broken down on its way back to Cardiff from Weston-Super-Mare.
The yacht had one person on board who was in radio communication with the lifeboat but was not sure of his exact position.
After the skipper had fired a flare to help the lifeboat find the yacht, the crew located it near Flatholm Island and the skipper was found to have injured his back.
Two lifeboat crew members went onto the yacht to give first aid and attach a tow. They stayed with the skipper for the 90 minute tow back through the barrage to the water taxi pontoon where they were met by Penarth coastguards and paramedics who assessed the skipper’s injuries.
Laurie Pavelin added: “Because the yacht carried appropriate working safety equipment including a marine radio and flares, the lifeboat crew was able to quickly come to the skipper’s aid and bring him and his boat to safety".