After a spate of breakdowns and engine failures, Bev Haigh of Swansea Coastguard is reminding boat owners to check carefully their vessel’s engine and electrical systems before putting out to sea.
“Earlier this afternoon a 32 foot sports fishing boat out of Swansea Marina with three people on board broke down and required urgent assistance. Fortunately all three are wearing flotation suits. They are in a position where we asked the inshore lifeboat to assist them as they have complete engine failure. The MCA Rib ‘Falcon’ is also assisting in this incident which is still on going.
“Another three people were in trouble today when their 25 foot angling vessel broke down at the entrance to the river and deep water harbour at Port Talbot. The occupants called the Coastguard and shortly after all contact were lost. Later Swansea Coastguard heard from them again after their battery on board was fixed. They had managed to get a tow from a passing fisheries rigid inflatable boat but the RNLI inshore lifeboat was asked to keep an eye on the disabled vessel as communications remained poor. No record of the vessel had been entered on the CG66 register.
“Elsewhere a white 20 foot small angling craft contacted Swansea Coastguard this morning as they too had broken down out of Cardiff Bay. There were three people on board. In this instance we were told the vessel was taking water by the stern, but the bilge pump appeared to be coping.
“The RNLI Barry Dock lifeboat - with a salvage pump - was asked to go and retrieve the vessel and crew which they promptly undertook. The vessel was met by the Penarth Coastguard Rescue Team when it arrived at back at its berth in Cardiff Bay. It was then identified that the impeller pipe had split and filled the engine room and all three on board had not noticed until the water was up to the engine room hatch.
“For the three on board there were only two lifejackets, and the skipper did have a floatation suit but was not wearing it. The flares were out of date by 5 years, and the vessel wasn’t registered on the Coastguard’s CG66 identification register.
“This last incident is a real fail.com!
“After a protracted period of bad weather people are now starting to venture out again and we have to remind boat owners and crew to give their vessels a good overhaul before heading out to sea. Check their craft, batteries and essential safety kit. The more you prepare, the less likely incidents will occur when you are in the wrong place at the wrong time as the weather starts to turn, or the light begins to go. Its just common sense! Our thanks are also due to the crews of the RNLI who turned out so quickly today.”
Notes to Editors
• The MCA is a partner in the Sea Vision UK campaign to raise awareness and understanding of the sea and maritime activities. Sea Vision promotes the importance and economic value of the sector and works to highlight the exciting range of activities and career opportunities available to young people within the UK growing maritime sector. www.seavisionuk.org
• • Stay safe - before heading out on the water get trained, check weather and tides, wear a lifejacket, avoid alcohol and keep in touch
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