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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

Walker rescued on Burnham-On-Sea beach by Coastguards and BARB hovercraft

A walker was rescued on Burnham-On-Sea beach on Tuesday (January 10th) after getting stuck in mud.

Burnham’s Trinity Close Christmas lights raise over £2,000 for charity

Families have been flocking to see the Christmas lights in Burnham-On-Sea's Trinity Close this month, raising charity funds, even though the residents are not holding an official display.

PHOTOS: Seafront elf trail in Burnham-On-Sea raises over £1,000 for BARB

A festive elf trail held on Burnham-On-Sea seafront has raised over £1,000 for Burnham charity BARB Search & Rescue.

Blue Ridge Runners motoring group gives £2,633 boost to Burnham-On-Sea charity

A group of fundraising motoring enthusiasts has presented over £2,600 to a Burnham-On-Sea charity.

Race night raises over £2,680 for Burnham’s BARB Search & Rescue

A fundraising race night has raised over £2,680 for Burnham-On-Sea’s rescue hovercraft charity BARB Search & Rescue.

Fundraising seafront elf trail set to be held today in Burnham-On-Sea

A fun family elf trail is set to be held on Burnham-On-Sea seafront today (Sunday, November 27th), raising funds for Burnham's BARB Search & Rescue.

Fundraising seafront elf trail set to be held this Sunday in Burnham-On-Sea

A fun family elf trail is set to be held on Burnham-On-Sea seafront this Sunday (November 27th), raising funds for Burnham's BARB Search & Rescue.

Woman and two children rescued from mud on Burnham-On-Sea beach

A woman and two children were rescued after getting into difficulty in mud on Burnham-On-Sea beach at the weekend.

Burnham-On-Sea’s BARB receives £4,000 boost from Bridgwater bike group

Burnham-On-Sea's BARB Search & Rescue has been given a £4,000 boost by members of a local motorcycle group.

Busy year reviewed at Burnham-On-Sea’s BARB Search & Rescue AGM

Dozens of people attended the AGM of Burnham-On-Sea’s rescue hovercraft charity BARB Search & Rescue on Friday (October 14th) when a busy year of activities was reviewed.

Charity jumble sale raises BARB funds in memory of Highbridge fundraiser

A special fundraising jumble sale has been held at Highbridge's Morland Hall in memory of a community-spirited resident who sadly passed away in July.

Charity event to be held in memory of community-spirited Highbridge resident

A special fundraising jumble sale is set to be held at Highbridge's Morland Hall this Saturday (August 20th) in memory of a community-spirited resident who sadly passed away last month.

Burnham crews help collapsed woman on Brean beach after dog rescue from mud

Crews from Burnham-On-Sea Coastguard and BARB Search & Rescue were called to Brean beach on Saturday evening (August 13th) to help a woman who had collapsed in the heat while trying to reach a dog stuck in mud.

Charity golf day raises money for Burnham-On-Sea rescue charity

Local company Burnham Plastering and Drylining has held their annual charity golf day, giving a boost to a Burnham-On-Sea charity.

Burnham-On-Sea’s Tesco store gives boost to rescue hovercraft charity

Burnham-On-Sea's Tesco store has given a donation to the town's rescue hovercraft charity BARB Search & Rescue.
coastguard on jetty

2.17am call-out for Burnham Coastguards and BARB crews to person stuck in mud

Crews from Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards and BARB Search & Rescue were called out during the early hours of Wednesday morning (July 13th) to reports of a person stuck in mud.

Photos: ‘Cars, Bikes and Coffee’ fundraiser boosts Burnham’s BARB hovercraft charity

Dozens of special vehicles went on show at a farm near the village of Mark on Sunday (July 10th) when it held a fundraising event for Burnham-On-Sea's rescue hovercraft charity BARB Search & Rescue.

Night search for missing man, 81, in Brean by Burnham’s rescue crews

Burnham-On-Sea lifeboats, a hovercraft and Coastguards were called out to carry out a night-time search in Brean for a missing person earlier this week.
BARB Queen's Platinum Jubilee Medals

Ten volunteers at Burnham’s BARB Search & Rescue receive Queen’s Jubilee medals

Ten volunteers at Burnham-On-Sea's rescue hovercraft charity BARB have received Queen's Platinum Jubilee Medals in recognition of their frontline service for the charity.

Night time search of Burnham-On-Sea beach launched for missing person

A night time search of Burnham-On-Sea beach was undertaken on Monday (May 16th) after a person was reporting missing. 

Hovercraft and bomb disposal team called as old buoy sparks beach scare

Coastguards and a Burnham-On-Sea rescue hovercraft were called to Weston beach on Saturday (April 30th) to assist a bomb disposal team to investigate a suspected ordnance device in the mud.

Families enjoy Easter trail and fun in aid of Burnham rescue hovercraft charity BARB

Families enjoyed fun Easter activities while raising funds for Burnham’s rescue hovercraft charity BARB on Sunday (April 9th).
Burnham-on-Sea hovercraft

Burnham-On-Sea’s Ritz Social Club announces BARB as its 2022 charity of the year

Burnham-On-Sea's Ritz Social Club has this week announced its charity of the year for 2022 will be the town's rescue hovercraft charity BARB Search & Rescue.
Stranded swan stuck in discarded fishing line is rescued by Secret World and BARB

Stranded swan stuck in discarded fishing line is rescued by Secret World and BARB

A swan trapped by discarded fishing line tightly wrapped around its legs has been rescued by a Secret World wildlife carer and an inshore rescue boat crew from Burnham-On-Sea's BARB Search & Rescue this week.

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