Burnham-on-Sea RNLI press releases and other news (click link at top to go to article.)




 15Burnham-on-Sea RNLI Lifeboats paged to assist grounded yacht, Thursday 28 July JULY 
 14Burnham-on-Sea RNLI lifeboat volunteers paged to assist grounded boat.  July
 13Burnham-on-Sea RNLI Helmsman's first call  JULY
  12Burnham-on-Sea RNLI volunteers paged to assist disabled powerboat in Bristol Channel Drama.  JULY
 11A successful volunteer day for Burnham-on-Sea RNLI  July
 10Burnham-on-Sea RNLI benefits from Gracie Mai's 'Little Princess' gift 



 9Asda donates as customers favour Burnham's RNLI. June 
 8RNLI Lifeboats at Burnham-on-Sea paged to assist missing person search. MAY
 7Burnham-on-Sea RNLI and BARB Search and Rescue to brighten up Emergency Services day.  May

Both Burnham-on-Sea RNLI lifeboats launch on Easter Monday to assist distressed speedboat.

 5Both lifeboats launched after training.  MAR
 4Burnham's RNLI lifeboats feature in local author's latest release. MAR
 3Local Freemasons support Burnham-on-Sea RNLI's D Class Lifeboat appeal Mar

Coastguard Rescue 187 helicopter training with Burnham-on-Sea RNLI 

 1Both Burnham-on-Sea RNLI lifeboats paged at 1.49 pm Feb. 18th to assist endangered dog on Brean Down.  Feb


 Burnham-on-Sea RNLI Lifeboats paged to assist grounded yacht, Thursday 28 July

At 1.16 pm, Burnham-on-Sea RNLI volunteers were paged to assist a grounded yacht. The Coastguard had little information on the yacht that had run aground so both boats were launched to initially locate the casualty.

The casualty, a 16ft bilge keel sailing sloop was quickly located aground on the spit at the mouth of the River Brue and subsequently re-floated by the crew of Staines Whifield, before being escorted back to her moorings.

The lifeboats returned to the beach for recovery and wash down at the lifeboat station.

Helmsman Nick Edrich said; 'The yachtsman had been caught unawares by a sudden gust of wind whilst exiting the river, and found himself aground on the river bank, on a lee shore with the top of the tide not too far away.'

Deputy Launch Authority Phil Counsell added; 'This was a text book operation, well executed. As always, many thanks to all crew that attended.


Burnham-on-Sea RNLI lifeboat volunteers paged to assist grounded boat.

Burnham-on-Sea RNLI volunteers were paged Tuesday 26 July, shortly after 4.00 pm, when a blue hulled vessel was reported aground, off Burnham-on-Sea, with a dropping tide. Burnham's D class lifeboat Puffin was speedily launched and the crew proceeded to search for the vessel in distress. There was initially some confusion on the exact location of the casualty, but after investigation, a blue hulled fishing boat was sighted North from Stert Island, but not apparently in difficulty.

A radio contact with the craft verified that they were busy fishing in 4 feet of water and had not experienced any problems. Hence, all those agencies involved in the incident deduced that this was a false alarm with good intent. The lifeboat was brought back to the town slip (at approximately 4.45 pm) with subsequent recovery, over the RNLI bog mats (as it was low water).

The muddy tractor and lifeboat were washed down back at the lifeboat station by shore and boat crew, before being prepped for immediate launch should the occasion arise.

Afterwards, a representative of the Burnham-on-Sea Coastguard said; 'This was a false alarm with good intent as they could have been stuck and may have needed help. It is good to know we have some eagle eyed members of the public out there who are invaluable in helping us keep the coast safe.'






 Burnham-on-Sea RNLI Helmsman's first call

Lifeboat volunteer Matt Edwards had launched Burnham-on-Sea's D Class lifeboat Puffin, Monday 18 July. After carrying out a sequence of routine manoeuvres, as the final part of his assessment to the coveted RNLI helmsman status, and just about to recover at Burnham jetty, Milford Haven Coastguard tasked the lifeboat boat to investigate reports of a swimmer in difficulties (at 7.52 pm). Apparently, a well-meaning member of public had seen the swimmer far out from the beach, assumed he was in trouble because of the outgoing tide, and called the Coastguard.

Matt started a search pattern and located the swimmer adjacent to Burnham's number two navigation buoy. It transpired that the swimmer was not in difficulty and well used to long distance swimming. Matt tactfully withdrew, kept a weather eye on the 'casualty' for a good ten minutes to confirm the swimmer's competence, before returning to the beach for recovery and the usual wash-down by the volunteer shore crew.

RNLI Inspector Paul Eastment said; 'The swimmer was intercepted by No 2 buoy. We spoke with him to ensure he was OK, and he insisted he was quite capable of swimming back to shore. We monitored his progress for a while, and he was obviously a competent strong swimmer, so we returned to the beach for recovery..

Station Deputy Launch Authority Lyndon Baker said later; 'Well done Matt!. First shout as a Helm! Thanks to all that helped launch and recovery.'

Lifeboats Press Officer Mike Lang adds; 'This could have been a serious incident, but we would rather be called on a false alarm with good intent than someone lose a life. The RNLI have undertaken a campaign to reduce preventable drownings, called 'Respect the Water'. So, if you think someone is in trouble, call 999 and talk to the Coastguard.'




Burnham-on-Sea RNLI volunteers paged to assist disabled powerboat in Bristol Channel Drama.


Milford Haven coastguard control received a report of a fire on board a 47 ft Watson lifeboat conversion power cruiser. Immediately, Barry Dock off-shore lifeboat was alerted and the Burnham-on-Sea RNLI inshore lifeboats were paged to launch, at 4.18 pm.

By the time Barry Dock lifeboat had located, and reached the casualty (There was some confusion about the exact location), the fire had been extinguished, but the vessel was drifting in the strong South Westerly winds, needing urgent assistance. The Burnham-on-Sea volunteer crews reached the casualty shortly afterwards.

It was decided to take the casualty to the safety of Barry Docks and Barry Dock lifeboat took the tow, whilst the Burnham-on-Sea lifeboats returned home, for recovery and wash down by the shore crew. Both boats were recovered at approximately 5.50 pm

Burnham RNLI Helmsman Nick Edrich said; ' The fire was apparently caused by an oily rag in the engine compartment, but had been extinguished by the time we arrived on scene. Winds were approximately force 3 - 4, with moderate seas, but the heavy Bristol Cannel chop made progress difficult in challenging conditions. Barry Dock lifeboat crew towed the vessel to safety.'



A successful volunteer day for Burnham-on-Sea RNLI

Previous to the special day, no effort was spared publicizing this important event. Local radio was notified , posters and fliers were widely distributed. Eventually the day arrived, and Burnham-on-Sea RNLI lifeboat station was open on Saturday 9 July between 10.00 am and 3.00 pm.

Throughout the day, potential supporters and members of the public strolled in to look around the station, and meet with fundraisers, crew members and station management.

Organizers of the successful day received 20 genuine expressions of interest, from the many visitors, who were able to examine the boats, the hi-tech launching equipment, and displays on show.

As an extra, one lucky five-year-old, won a prize in the lifeboat colouring competition, organized by nearby café - 'Coffee Corner', where the owners are keen RNLI supporters.

Burnham-on-Sea Lifeboat Operations Manager Matt Davies said; "We are really pleased with the interest that has been shown in volunteering for the RNLI, from not just local people, but interest from people moving into the local area, which will boost the strength of our team. The crew meet every Wednesday evening to train, for anyone who was interested, but unable to attend on Saturday.






Burnham-on-Sea RNLI benefits from Gracie Mai's 'Little Princess' gift

Several months ago, Gracie Mai Fagan, had her almost ankle length hair cut off for the Little Princess Charity, and the sponsors for this selfless act helped her raise £1,340 each for the MacMillan and RNLI Charities. On holiday at Burnham-on-Sea, Gracie-Mai's family attended Burnham-on-Sea RNLI Lifeboat station on Wednesday evening 1 June, to hand over the collected funds

As it was an onshore training night, both lifeboats and their hi-tech launching tractors were on view, and her family and friends were treated to a special tour and talk about the various items of equipment available to RNLI volunteers..

Burnham-on-Sea Lifeboat Operations Manager welcomed Gracie-Mai and her family saying; 'I thank you for this fantastic amount. The money will be used as part of our D class appeal.'


 Asda donates as customers favour Burnham's RNLI.


Highbridge Asda supermarket has a community support scheme, where customers vote for their favourite local cause over a period of one month.

Burnham-on-Sea Moose International lodge 123 member Chris Harris wrote a letter to Highbridge's Asda store nominating the Burnham-on-Sea lifeboat station for an entry into this award scheme. Customers have been collecting tokens from the tills, voting for their favourite charity and placing tokens in the appropriate slot of three large Perspex collection containers

This month it was Burnham-on-Sea RNLI's turn to benefit, by an easy majority, and a cheque for £500 was presented, at Asda's Highbridge store, last Saturday morning. Moose Governor Ron Fisher was on hand to help receive the money, as Burnham's RNLI was Ron's charity of the year

Local Lifeboats Press Officer Mike Lang (Also Moose lodge 123 publicity officer) says; 'The local support means an awful lot to us, as we strive to be part of the community. The money will go towards equipping our lifeboats and helping us to save lives at sea.'




RNLI Lifeboats at Burnham-on-Sea Paged to assist missing person search


Both Burnham-on-Sea lifeboats were launched last night after being paged at 10.23 pm to assist other emergency services with a missing person search. Our volunteer crews searched diligently, along the coastline until being stood down when the potential casualty was located safe and well. The lifeboats were returned to station for wash-down, and refueling for the next potential service.




Burnham-on-Sea RNLI and BARB Search and Rescue to brighten up Emergency Services day.

On Sunday 7th August 2016, Burnham-on-Sea RNLI and BARB Search and Rescue will join forces to bring a spectacular event to Burnham-on-Sea, with added help from both HM Coastguard and Victoria Taylor from Burnham Bootcamp.

The 'Rescue Rainbow Run' will take place as part of the annual 'ESCAPE Day' on the seafront. From 1-4pm, 600 participants will walk/jog/skip the 3.5km from Burnham jetty to the iconic lighthouse and back, whilst experiencing an explosion of rainbow coloured powder paint along the way! Participants will receive a medal and a bottle of water upon completion of the run, with photo opportunities available at the finish line.

Entry fees are offered at a reduced rate throughout May: £10 per adult and £6 per child (over 5), increasing to £12 per adult from 1st June. Forms can be collected from the RNLI shop, 'Hair of The Dog' barbers and The 'Coffee Corner' café'.

Alternatively, the forms can be emailed to you so please contact us at events-2016@outlook.com. Forms and full payment must be returned to the RNLI shop in Burnham High Street. However, be quick, as there are only 600 places!

The proceeds will be split between the two organizing units; Burnham-on-Sea RNLI and BARB Search and Rescue, to fund the current appeals of each unit.

Event organisers are; Lesley-Ruth Hart, Dan Fear (RNLI), Mike Lowe and Roger Flower (BARB Search and Rescue)

Organiser Lesley-Ruth Hart says; "The RNLI and BARB wanted to join forces organizing an event that would bring the local community together. Thus, getting participants involved in something really fun, and all for two worthwhile local charities. With the usual Steart Swim being cancelled, Escape Day provides the perfect setting for the 'Rainbow Run'.

It's a first for Burnham-on-Sea and the interest on our Facebook page has been incredible. We are very excited about it and are really pleased that people are getting behind it. It is set to be a brilliant event for Burnham-on-Sea and one we hope will continue for years to come!".

Find us on facebook at www.facebook.com/rescuerainbowrun or contact us at events-2016@outlook.com for more information and registration documents.




Both Burnham-on-Sea RNLI Lifeboats launch on Easter Monday to assist a distressed speedboat.

Burnham-on-Sea RNLI was paged at 10.46 am after a yacht was reported aground, with three people aboard (one of whom was very cold), in the River Parrett at Combwich. Both lifeboats were launched just before 11.00 am and the volunteers proceeded upriver towards the casualty area.

The casualty vessel proved to be a waterski powerboat, approximately 18 foot in length, manned by a group of three, drifting with the outgoing tide and in imminent danger of running aground. The occupants (Experienced water users) were trying to paddle to the safety of the local launch slipway. It should be noted that they were all wearing lifejackets and carried a means of communication with the shore.

Atlantic 75 Helmsman Kevin Barber said; 'the D class lifeboat Puffin volunteer crew, accepted a line from the powerboat and towed it to the slipway, whilst we stood bye in support. The occupants were then able to effect recovery. We returned to Burnham-on-Sea for a speedy but exciting recovery, in the stiff onshore breeze.'



Burnham-on-Sea RNLI lifeboats called into action after recovery from their regular Sunday training

The lifeboats were immediately re-launched, but Victor Danny Lovelock was stood down by HM Coastguard control, one minute later, whilst the crew of Puffin were requested to proceed to Brean Down and stand bye, after a family had been reported in difficulties whilst attempting a self- rescue of their dog.

A coastguard rescue team had been alerted, but met the casualty family as they walked back along the Down. Puffin was stood down and returned to Burnham jetty for recovery and wash-down by the shore team volunteers.

If you see anyone in difficulties, it is best to dial 999 for the Coastguard. On this occasion everything was OK, but the situation had the potential for disaster.

 Burnham's RNLI lifeboats feature in local author's latest release

<'Not to worry, here comes the Puffin,' said the crewman> in an extract from chapter nine of Damien Boyd's latest release 'Dead Level', when his main character DI Nick Dixon is rescued from the side of Brean Down, by the Burnham-on-Sea RNLI volunteers.

Damien Boyd is famous for writing his stories around locations in Somerset, and his latest release 'Dead Level', the fifth in his popular crime series, launched today on 15 March 2016, is a testimonial to his research and local knowledge. For the lifeboat rescue episode Damien spent an evening at Burnham-on-Sea RNLI lifeboat station quizzing the crew and various volunteers on strategy and tactics.

Volunteer Lifeboats Press Officer Mike Lang says; 'The sequence of events in chapter nine also emphasizes the strategic importance of D Class lifeboat Puffin, due for replacement soon, after ten years of active service.'

Local Freemasons support Burnham-on-Sea RNLI's D Class Lifeboat appeal

During a personal visit to Burnham-on-Sea RNLI Lifeboat station, on Friday evening, Freemasons from Burnham-on-Sea presented RNLI Chairman Ashley Edwards with a cheque for £1,000.  Not only that, but Somerset Freemasons match-funded the £1,000, making a total of £2,000 towards the new D Class appeal fund.

Representing Somerset Freemasons, John Chinn said; We are pleased to support our local RNLI who do such stirling work"

Chairman Ashley Edwards responded; "We thank you for this wonderful donation, which will ultimately be responsible for saving lives at sea. The community has been very supportive of our appeal, and this will truly be a Burnham-on-Sea lifeboat"


 Coastguard Rescue 187 helicopter training with Burnham-on-Sea RNLI.

Description of the training event from training co-ordinator Ashley Chappel:-

The helicopter landed at the boat yard in Highbridge at 1500 on Wednesday 11 February for a meet and great with the new crew. They talked us through the new helicopter and how the winch is operated, which is what we would be training with at sea.

Following this we all met at the beach for some land winching, the helicopter hovered around 50 foot above land while each crew member got winched up into the helicopter and back down again.

We later launched both boats and headed out to sea, where we started the training. RNLI crew need to be able to formate under the helicopter, while under way with the boat head to wind/sea, at around 5-10 knots. This makes for a smoother ride, which is important for casualty transfers.

We then launched again later that evening to carry out the same training but at night.

Training coordinator Ashley Chappel quotes; 'It was a pleasure to meet and work with the new team and chopper. It is important for us to know how to operate if a situation arises where an air evacuation is required. A great example of the coastguard and RNLI working together. '


Both Burnham-on-Sea RNLI lifeboats paged at 1.49 pm Feb. 18th to assist endangered dog on Brean Down. 

Atlantic 75 relief lifeboat Victor 'Danny' Lovelock was speedily rushed to the beach, for immediate launch, whilst D class lifeboat Puffin followed behind as further crew arrived at the station.  Both lifeboats proceeded to Brean Down with the objective of assisting Coastguard officers, in their recovery of the animal, which had fallen down a crevice on the North side of the Down. 

A RNLI crewmember recovered the dog from the crevice, and delivered the animal to the waiting Coastguard rescue team, at steps on the side of the Down. The lifeboats were stood down by Milford Haven Coastguard control at 2.30 pm, and returned to Burnham for recovery and wash-down by the volunteer crew

Helmsman Kevin Barber (On his first shout as a B class helm) said; "We located the dog, apparently a collie type, in the crevice, frantically trying to clamber unsuccessfully to safety. The animal was handed to local coastguard on the scene."