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

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.

Woman stuck in waist deep mud with sea around her rescued on Brean beach

Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards, RNLI lifeboats and BARB hovercrafts were called to Brean beach today (Wednesday) after a woman was reported to be stuck in the mud with the tide starting to cover her.
Brean Down search

Rescue services launch big search operation at Brean Down for missing man

A big multi-agency search was launched for a missing person in Brean today (Saturday).
Burnham-On-Sea fog walker rescued n Burnham-On-Sea beach

Stranded Burnham-On-Sea dog walker thanks rescuers after getting stuck on beach

A stranded Burnham-On-Sea dog walker has thanked local Coastguards for coming to her rescue after she got stuck in soft sand and mud on the town's beach today (Tuesday).
Burnham-On-Sea rescue hovercraft

Burnham-On-Sea rescue hovercraft called to Weston after concerns for man in mud

Burnham-On-Sea rescue hovercraft was called to Weston beach on Sunday after concerns for a person 'struggling in mud'.

Photos: Three people rescued by Burnham hovercraft from Berrow beach mud

Three people were flown to safety onboard Burnham-On-Sea's rescue hovercraft after getting into difficulty on Berrow beach during hot weather on Thursday afternoon (June 25th).
Burnham-On-Sea rescue hovercraft on Weston beach

Burnham-On-Sea’s BARB hovercraft helps in rescue of man in mud on Weston beach

Burnham-On-Sea's BARB hovercraft was called to Weston beach on Monday afternoon (June 22nd) to help rescue a man stuck in mud.
Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards

‘Cries for help’ prompt call-out for Burnham Coastguards and BARB hovercraft crews

Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards and BARB's rescue hovercrafts were called out on Monday (June 8th) to reports of a person calling for help near the lower lighthouse.
Burnham-On-Sea BARB hovercraft with the man rescued from Weston beach mud

Burnham’s BARB hovercraft and Coastguards rescue man from Weston mud

A man struggling in deep mud on Weston Beach was rescued by Coastguards and Burnham-On-Sea's BARB rescue hovercraft on Wednesday (May 27th).

Burnham Coastguards and BARB hovercrafts called to people in mud

Burnham-On-Sea Coastguard and BARB hovercrafts were called out on Saturday afternoon (May 9th) amid concerns for two people wading through deep mud on Berrow beach.
Burnham-On-Sea BARB hovercraft

Burnham-On-Sea charities BARB and In Charley’s Memory short-listed for award

Two Burnham-On-Sea charities have been shortlisted for a top award as Sedgemoor's charity of the year. BARB Search & Rescue and In Charley's Memory have...

Burnham’s BARB Search & Rescue gets £22,981 boost from Department for Transport

Burnham-On-Sea's BARB Search & Rescue is one of 50 independent charities across the UK to receive funding boosts for new search and rescue equipment from the Department for Transport this week.

Burnham’s BARB Search & Rescue called to Wales to help in floods after Storm...

A flood rescue crew from Burnham-On-Sea's BARB Search & Rescue was called to South Wales on Sunday (February 16th) after severe flooding caused by...

Burnham’s BARB hovercraft and Coastguards rescue man from deep mud

A person stuck in waist-deep mud on Weston beach has been rescued by Burnham's BARB hovercraft and other crews this afternoon (Tuesday) in a race against the incoming tide.

Dog walker rescued by Burnham crews after freak accident on Berrow beach

Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards and crews from BARB Search & Rescue rescued a dog walker on Berrow beach last night (Monday, January 27th) after she suffered a painful injury in a fall.

Burnham-On-Sea’s BARB crews join regional multi-agency flood rescue exercise

Volunteers from Burnham-On-Sea's BARB Search & Rescue were among dozens of crewmembers from across the region who have taken part in a joint exercise to test their readiness to deal with major flooding incidents.

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