BARB Search & Rescue

News and information from BARB Search & Rescue in Burnham-On-Sea

BARB (formed as the Burnham Area Rescue Boat in 1992) is a registered charity that operates two life-saving rescue hovercrafts and an inshore rescue boat in the Bridgwater Bay area.

This page provides all the latest BARB charity news, launch reports and fundraising info. Please also follow BARB on Facebook and Twitter

BARB Latest News

Stranded car rescued on Brean beach after family gets stuck on day trip

Burnham-On-Sea’s BARB Search & Rescue was called out to Brean beach on Sunday evening (May 9th) to a stranded car.

Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards called to missing child and lady fallen ill at Brean

Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards were called out twice on Saturday (April 24th) to search for a missing child and help a lady who had fallen ill on the steps going up Brean Down.

Two vehicles rescued by BARB in a day after getting stuck on Brean beach

Burnham-On-Sea's BARB Search & Rescue was called out twice to Brean beach on Sunday (April 18th) to rescue stranded cars.

Three children in mud on Brean beach spark call-out for Coastguards and BARB

Burnham Coastguards and rescue hovercrafts were called to Brean beach on Sunday afternoon (April 1th) after concerns were raised by the beach warden regarding three children wading through mud.

Coastguards and hovercrafts called to kayakers in muddy estuary next to Brean Down

Burnham-On-Sea's Coastguards and BARB rescue hovercrafts were called to Uphill on Saturday (April 10th) amid concern for three people reported to be stranded in kayaks on the north side of Brean Down.

Burnham Coastguards and BARB hovercraft called to men wading across mudflats

Burnham-On-Sea's rescue hovercrafts and a team of Coastguards were called out on Monday evening to help two young men attempting to reach the sea at low tide on Berrow beach.
Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards

Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards called to help collapsed walker on town beach

Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards were called out on Saturday (March 27th) to help a lady who had fainted and suffered an injury.
Dolphin on Brean beach near Burnham-On-Sea

Two-metre long dolphin washes up on tideline at Brean during stormy high tides

A two-metre long dolphin was washed up on the tideline at Brean on Saturday (March 13th) during a stormy high tide.
Alan Heal BARB fundraiser in Burnham-On-Sea

Burnham fundraiser takes on 15,000ft sky dive for local rescue charity BARB

A Burnham-On-Sea fundraiser hopes to give a town charity a funding boost by taking on a 15,000ft sky dive even though he is "terrified" of heights!

Emotional farewell for ‘beloved’ former Burnham-On-Sea Coastguard

Heartfelt tributes were paid to a 'beloved' former Burnham-On-Sea Coastguard whose funeral was held in the town on Friday (January 8th). David Ilsley, 71,...

Injured walker air-lifted to hospital from Brean Down with broken leg following fall

A walker was air-lifted to hospital from Brean Down on Friday (January 8th) after suffering a suspected broken leg in a fall.
Dolphin Sand Bay beach

Burnham-On-Sea crew called to large dolphin stranded on beach

A team of marine mammal medics from Burnham’s BARB Search & Rescue was called to a dolphin stranded on Sand Bay beach near Weston this morning (Sunday).
Burnham-On-Sea beach rescue by Burnham Coastguards

Girl, 11, rescued after getting stuck in mud on Burnham-On-Sea beach

An 11-year-old girl was rescued after getting stuck in knee-deep mud on Burnham-On-Sea beach today (Wednesday). Burnham Coastguards and BARB Search & Rescue were called just before 11.15am after a walker called 999.
Campervan rescue Brean beach

Stranded campervan rescued after getting stuck in soft sand on Brean beach

A campervan was rescued after getting stuck in soft sand and mud on Brean Beach on Sunday evening (December 27th).

Dog stranded in mud on Burnham-On-Sea beach ‘coaxed to safety’

A dog was 'coaxed to safety' after getting stuck in mud on Burnham-On-Sea beach on Sunday (December 20th).
Boat aground on Stert Island at Burnham-On-Sea

Burnham Coastguards and hovercraft called to stranded fishermen on Stert Island

Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards and BARB's hovercraft were called out on Thursday (November 5th) following reports of a dingy with two people onboard stranded in mud on Stert Island.
Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards rescue girl stuck in mud in sea water on Brean beach

Photos: Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards rescue girl stuck in mud in sea at Brean

A girl was rescued from the sea after getting stuck in mud on Brean beach today (Sunday, September 13th).
Burnham-On-Sea cycle fundraiser

Burnham cyclist raises over £2,000 completing 200-mile challenge for BARB

A Burnham-On-Sea cyclist has pedalled 200 miles during a cross-country cycle ride from Burnham-On-Crouch in Essex to Burnham-On-Sea, raising over £2,000 for local rescue hovercraft charity BARB Search & Rescue.
Burnham-On-Sea fundraising cyclist Andy Brewer

Burnham cyclist gears up for 200-mile cross-country challenge for BARB

A Burnham-On-Sea cyclist is in final training to pedal over 200 miles from Burnham-On-Crouch in Essex to Burnham-On-Sea in Somerset to raise funds for local rescue hovercraft charity BARB Search & Rescue.
Ice cream van rescue Burnham-On-Sea beach

Ice cream van rescued on Burnham-On-Sea beach after getting stuck in soft sand

An ice cream van was pulled to safety after getting stuck on Burnham-On-Sea beach on Monday (August 24th). A team from Burnham's BARB Search &...
Burnham-on-Sea hovercraft

Burnham Coastguards and BARB hovercraft called to children in mud on Brean beach

Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards and BARB's hovercrafts were called to Brean beach on Monday evening (August 10th) following reports of two people in the mud near Brean Down.
Brean beach rescue of two girls from mud

VIDEO: Emotional reunion as young paddleboarders are rescued from Brean mud

Two girls were rescued after getting stranded in mud on Brean beach on Sunday afternoon (August 9th) during a busy day for the rescue crews.
Kayakers rescued on Brean Beach

VIDEO: Kayakers rescued by Burnham hovercraft and Coastguards on Brean beach

Two kayakers were rescued by Burnham-On-Sea's rescue hovercraft and Coastguards at Brean beach this afternoon (Friday).
Andy Brewer cycling challenge for Burnham-On-Sea's BARB Search & Rescue

200-mile Burnham-On-Crouch to Burnham-On-Sea cycling challenge for BARB

A cyclist is set to pedal over 200 miles from Burnham-On-Crouch in Essex to Burnham-On-Sea to raise funds for local rescue hovercraft charity BARB Search & Rescue.

History of the Burnham hovercraft

The story behind Burnham’s ‘Spirit Of Lelaina’ hovercraft

BARB, the group that runs the hovercrafts, was formed in 1992 when it began fundraising for its first rescue craft and own boathouse. In June 1994 Anneka Rice and the BBC TV show Challenge Anneka came to the rescue, building us a boat house on Burnham seafront in just 72 hours!

With the help of a generous grant from The Foundation for Sport And The Arts, plus donations from local businesses, BARB was able to purchase the rest of the equipment it needed in order to become fully operational as a rescue boat service.

Following the tragic death of five year-old Lelaina Hall in the mud at Berrow in 2002, the Western Daily Press launched a hugely successful fundraising campaign which brought in a whopping £115,000.

This funded the purchase of a fully-equipped hovercraft – called The Spirit Of Lelaina – which is now stationed in the boathouse at Burnham. During its first summer of operation it helped and rescued up to 50 people. The Western Daily Press and its readers remain one of the biggest supporters of the service, raising many thousands of pounds towards its operation.

Challenge Anneka team built seafront HQ in just 72 hours!

How BBC’s Anneka Rice built BARB’s hovercraft station…

Anneka Rice in Burnham-On-SeaThe hovercraft station which today houses the Burnham-On-Sea hovercraft was built in a matter of hours in 1994 during a flying visit by Anneka Rice and the crew from the popular BBC TV show Challenge Anneka.

The group behind the Burnham Area Rescue Boat had been formed in 1992 when it began fundraising for its own boat house. In June 1994 Anneka Rice came to the rescue, building a boat house on Burnham-On-Sea seafront in just 72 hours!

The BBC’s TV crew were on hand to record every part of the rapid construction and the final TV show was broadcast on BBC1 a few months later in the prime-time Challenge Anneka show. Click here for the full story and photos.

Burnham's powerful tides in the spotlight on BBC show

BARB helps BBC’s Jeremy Clarkson and ‘Top Gear’

A Toyota Futura was left looking rather worse-for-wear after Jeremy Clarkson and the BBC Top Gear team submerged it in the sea at Burnham in October 2003!

Crew members from the Burnham Area Rescue Boat (BARB) helped the BBC crew put the off-road vehicle through a rigorous challenge by seeing whether the vehicle could survive one of Bridgwater Bay’s notorious storm tides.

The vehicle was parked on the town’s jetty and left to nature’s forces – but, not suprisingly, the sea won and the vehicle failed miserably! The episode was shown on primetime BBC television and helped to demonstrate the danger of the tides along Somerset’s coastline. Click here for the full story and photos.

Hovercraft Background

Facts, figures and photos regarding Burnham-On-Sea’s Spirit Of Lelaina hovercraft:

Technical facts about the hovercraft
Find out how hovercrafts work
Challenge Anneka to the rescue!
Hovercraft Web sites and links

How to contact us

EMERGENCIES: If you need urgent help, CALL 999 and ask for the Coastguard who will summon the hovercraft if needed.

OTHER CONTACTS: Call BARB’s Chairman on 07834 635 797. You can also write to us at: BARB, Marine Rescue Centre, The Esplanade, Burnham, TA8 1BB.

Donate to BARB

BARB is a registered charity that relies solely on donations to run its service. Its annual running costs are over £30,000. Unlike other rescue groups, no-one at BARB is paid – we are all volunteers – so every penny raised is put towards rescues, training and maintaining our equipment. Support us by sending cheques, payable to ‘BARB’, to BARB at Marine Rescue Centre, The Esplanade, Burnham, TA8 1BB. Make regular contributions: You can now download a form here to make regular contributions to BARB. Become a sponsor: Find out who supports and sponsors Burnham’s hovercraft and how you can get involved – here.

How to contact us

EMERGENCIES: If you need urgent help, CALL 999 and ask for the Coastguard who will summon the hovercraft if needed.

OTHER CONTACTS: Call BARB’s Chairman on 07834 635 797. You can also write to us at: BARB, Marine Rescue Centre, The Esplanade, Burnham, TA8 1BB.

Meet Our Crew

Hovercraft lifesavers

Click here to see the Burnham hovercraft team

BARB Sponsors

Hovercraft sponsors

See a full list of the companies and groups that help BARB – click here

BARB Merchandise

Help support BARB by buying our official merchandise, such as pens, mugs, postcards and more, from Burnham Tourist Information Centre on the town’s seafront. It’s open throughout the year.

Facts & Figures

Learn more about the capabilities of the Burnham-On-Sea hovercraft:

Facts and figures about the Spirit of Lelaina

Beach Safety

The beaches at Burnham-On-Sea, Brean and Berrow are among Britain’s most scenic coastal areas, but there are dangers here too. Take note of these tips:

Beach guide and safety advice for visitors

Photos

Hovercraft photo gallery

Click here for photos of the Burnham hovercraft