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St Davids RNLI volunteers rescue 16 paddle boarders off Pembrokeshire coast

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Sixteen stand up paddle boarders in danger of being blown out into the Irish Sea were rescued by St Davids RNLI Tamar class lifeboat off Ramsey island on Saturday (9 July).

Milford Haven Coastguard issued to call for help at 3.15pm on Saturday after a report from local vessel, Gower Ranger.

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The visiting group had paddled out from Porthclais harbour earlier in the day but got into difficulty off the south west corner of Ramsey island.

A local rigid-hull inflatable boat, owned by an off duty volunteer lifeboat crew member who was in the area, successfully assisted them into a sheltered part of Ramsey island, standing by until the St Davids RNLI all-weather lifeboat Norah Wortley arrived.

This was St David’s lifeboat coxwain, Will Chant’s first shout at the helm since taking on the permanent role just two days before on the 7 July.

Once on scene, the crew took all 16 casualties and equipment onboard before returning them to Porthclais harbour where the volunteer crew were assisted by St Davids Coastguard rescue team.

Will Chant, RNLI coxswain for St David’s RNLI lifeboat, said: “Fortunately all sixteen casualties were unharmed and in good spirits, and I thank the crew of the Gower Ranger and our off duty crew member Martin Charlton for his assistance.

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“Although the conditions were calm within the shelter of the bay, the strong offshore wind was taking the SUP boards out to sea. Another half an hour and the group would likely have been in serious difficulty.

“We would urge all SUP boarders to check local weather conditions and tides before setting off to sea, wear a suitable personal flotation device and ensure you have a means of calling for help.”

(Lead image: RNLI/Nigel Millard)

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