Fishguards all-weather RNLI lifeboat was launched at 11pm last night (5 June) following concerns for the safety of a lady, who is aiming to become the first disabled woman to sail solo around Britain.
The alarm was raised when her vessel failed to arrive in Fishguard at the expected time of 10pm. Due to the rapidly deteriorating weather, the Fishguard all-weather lifeboat was launched to search the area in a bid to locate the lady and her support boat which had five people on board. No radio contact had been established with either vessel.
Peter Kedward, RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer at Fishguard says:
‘Eventually the Coastguard managed to make radio contact and established that she was two miles north of Strumble Head and under tow by her support boat. Conditions were becoming very difficult and the tide had turned against her.’
The support boat requested assistance from the Fishguard all-weather lifeboat which stood alongside as the support boat continued the tow.
‘With Force 5 winds and with wind over tide, the sea state became very demanding and the lady requested to be transferred to the all-weather lifeboat as she was becoming hypothermic.’
At 1.30am, assistance was requested from the Stena Europe, which was approaching inbound from Rosslare to Fishguard. The RNLI volunteer crew made radio contact with the ferry and requested a weather lee in order to make a more comfortable transfer for the lady.
Conditions were such that a transfer was not possible and the tow continued until the end of the Northern breakwater of Fishguard Harbour where the lady was safely transferred to the RNLI inshore lifeboat in the calmer waters of the harbour.
She was quickly moved to the lifeboat station where an ambulance was awaiting to transfer her to Withybush Hospital.