PENARTH'S RNLI Lifeboat crew had their busiest day on record on the weekend – with nine call-outs in just eight hours.

And just when the volunteer crew members thought things had calmed down, they received another two call-outs the following day.

The Saturday saw one crew member caked in mud and another stranded on a moored boat for three hours, while attending call-outs which ranged from boats and jet skis with engine trouble, to a swimmer stranded on Sully Island.

"We were definitely kept busy," said Penarth Lifeboat operations manager Philip Lay.

"The man stranded on Sully Island was perhaps the most dangerous.

"He had started to swim out towards Penarth but had realised the current was too strong and swam back. He had had a bit of a shock.

"Busy days like Saturday remind us why we are here and why we do what we do," he added.

One family who were rescued have described the service as 'amazing'.

Jenny Yeo and her husband were out with their 11-year-old daughter Amy and a friend when their yacht was caught on a ledge outside the barrage locks.

Jenny, 47, of Stanwell Road, said: "We were told that because of the recent dredging, the boat was on a ledge and in danger of tipping suddenly - we were very grateful to be rescued.

"The lifeboat crew were fantastic."

Unfortunately for the crew, the calls came in just far enough apart for them to wash the boat down and put it away after each call-out.

"Usually if there are two call-outs, they will come one after another," said Philip.

"But this time we had time to wash and refill the boat in between every call out.

"In the end we almost expected it – and they kept coming!"

The youngest crew member, 19-year-old Ben Reynolds, attended three of the calls-on Saturday.

"It was such a busy day," he said.

"The pager went off at 1.30pm and we were there until 8.30pm. By the end I was shattered!

"Because it's the summer, a few of the volunteers were on holiday and there weren't as many of us there as normal, so we were all busy."

There wasn’t a rest to be had on Sunday either, with two call-outs - one to a boat with an engine fire and the second to four German students stranded on Sully Island.

While the crew will respond to any call out requested by the Coastguard, the RNLI is run entirely on donations and staffed by volunteer crew.

Philip Lay said: "Before setting sail or going anywhere near the water, just think about the consequences of not being fully prepared.

"Make sure you have the right safety equipment, enough fuel and a good means of communication – mobile phones included – so you can keep in touch with the Coastguard."

Penarth RNLI are always looking for volunteers. Volunteers should live within minutes of the Lifeboat Station, be fit, and able to commit time each week to the service. For information visit the RNLI Station on a Tuesday evening from 8pm.


1) Yacht aground between Penarth pier and Cardiff Bay Barrage.

2) A second yacht aground.

3), 4) and 5) Three boats with engine trouble – all towed to the Barrage.

6), 7) Lifeboats and crew members return to the yachts that ran aground earlier, to check their seaworthiness and escort them to the Barrage.

8) Reports of a man in the water between Swanbridge and Sully Island. The lifeboat was at the scene within minutes, where the man was safe in the care of the Coastguard.

9) Four jet skiers on the River Usk – one of whom was reportedly in trouble. Despite mobilising quickly, there was no sign of the jet skiers, who were seen later that night off Penarth beach.