TWO men were taken to hospital after Penarth lifeboat crew rescued them from a sinking fishing boat in difficult conditions.

A coastguard helicopter and three lifeboats were called to Lavernock Point, in the Vale shortly after 1.10am on Tuesday, June 12.

Milford Haven Coastguards asked crews to launch to a 19ft fishing vessel which was taking on water

The men were rescued from the sea and handed over to waiting paramedics at Barry Docks.

The men were cold and taken to hospital for medical checks.

A Penarth Lifeboat Station spokesman said: “Our Atlantic lifeboat was first on scene, and initial attempts were made to steady the stricken boat which was in challenging tidal conditions, but unfortunately the vessel had taken on too much water, and quickly sank, with the two people on the vessel entering the water.

“Our new smaller lifeboat, the D class 'Spirit of Penarth II' arrived at scene and provided immediate assistance, with RNLI lifeboat crew members having no option but to enter the water in order to save the lives of the two casualties.

“The casualties were transferred to Barry Dock lifeboat which was also launched to assist in the multi-agency rescue.”

The station said it was grateful to the Barry Dock Lifeboat crew, Milford Haven Coastguards who coordinated the rescue, Wales Ambulance service and Penarth Coastguard Rescue team who worked seamless as one team.

It also thanked the rescue helicopter 187 crew who watched over them as the rescue developed, ready to deploy its winchman if required.

In praising the crews lifeboat operations manager for Penarth RNLI station, Jason Dunlop said: “There is no doubt that the professionalism and swift actions of the crews saved the lives of the two casualties.

“The RNLI invests heavily in the training of the crews and the equipment we have access to, and we needed both to effect this rescue without loss of life.”