July 10, 2017
VIDEO: Burnham-On-Sea lifeboats rescue boat aground on mudbank

A sailing boat was rescued by lifeboat crews from Burnham-On-Sea after running aground on Sunday evening (July 9th).

The 25ft boat, called Scamp, ran aground on a mud bank in the River Parrett between Burnham and Combwich just before 8pm.

The skipper, Graham Wills, is a member of Burnham RNLI, and says he knew immediately that he needed to call for a lifeboat.

"We were out on an evening sail, along the Parrett estuary, when we ran aground on a mudbank," he told

"The mud does move around frequently and it's shifted since I last sailed in that area of the river- we were just unlucky to get caught."

"As the boat was leaning at about 50 degrees with the sea water right up to the tow rail, I made an early call for the RNLI's help to pull me off the mudbank. It could have been serious on the outgoing tide."

A lifeboat crew member boarded the boat and the boat was towed off the bank and returned to the safety of Burnham Sailing Club's pontoons where Burnham Coastguards were waiting, as pictured below.

A Coastguard spokesman said: "We were tasked by the Milford Haven Operations Room to a 25ft vessel that had run aground in the River Parrett. Watchet Coastguard Team had also been tasked due to the location."

"Burnham Lifeboats had been launched to assist and were making good progress. We had been asked to head along the river path as a precaution, the sail boat had been listing, if it went over then a technical rescue would have to be initiated."

"As we were en-route we got communications from the lifeboats that they had arrived and managed to quickly tow the vessel off the sand bank without any issues."

Above: Graham Wills and Mike Kelly onboard the boat after the rescue

"Once it was back in deep enough water it was able to continue its journey back to its mooring at Burnham Yacht Club, escorted by one of the Lifeboats. Some of our Coastguard team met them at the pontoon to have a chat with them and ensure they were carrying all the right equipment and that they were OK."

"These were very experienced sailors on a well-prepared vessel, they regularly sail in the area and were the victims of changing landscapes of the river."

"They knew as soon as it happened they would need assistance and didn't hesitate to call it in. We always advise to call as soon as it happens as any delay could prove costly, and these guys were on the ball."

"With the quick response and expert work by the lifeboat crew this situation was resolved without any further problems and all that was injured was some pride."


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