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

Family thanks crews as missing Burnham man is rescued from Stert Island

A missing Burnham-On-Sea man has been air-lifted from Stert Island following a huge search operation involving multiple rescue crews today (Wednesday).

Stranded horse box rescued on Brean beach by Burnham’s BARB Search & Rescue

A stranded horse box was rescued after getting stuck on Brean beach on Thursday (October 17th). BARB Search & Rescue was called out just after...

Burnham Coastguards and BARB crew in six-hour search for missing man

Crews from Burnham-On-Sea Coastguard and BARB Search & Rescue were called out today (Saturday) to join a major search in Weston for a missing person.
burnham-on-sea coastguards

Burnham-On-Sea rescue crews called to Bridgwater amid fears person was in river

Crews from Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards, BARB Search & Rescue and Burnham RNLI were called out alongside Police last night (Thursday) after a person was reported to have entered a local river in darkness.

Stranded car stuck in soft sand on Burnham-On-Sea beach towed to safety by BARB

A stranded car was towed to safety after getting stuck in soft sand on Burnham-On-Sea beach on Monday (September 16th).
Young male porpoise at Brean beach

Fourth porpoise found washed up on Brean beach, having died of several injuries

A fourth porpoise has been found washed up on Brean beach in the space of a month, having died of several injuries.

Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards called out three times in an hour

Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards were called out three times in an hour on Sunday (September 15th) to incidents on Brean and Berrow beaches as the hot...

Porpoise found washed up on Brean beach died of several injuries

A porpoise found washed up on Brean beach this week had died of ‘several injuries’.

Woman rescued from mud on Brean beach by BARB and Burnham Coastguards

A woman struggling through knee-deep mud on Brean beach was rescued by Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards and the BARB rescue hovercraft on Tuesday (August 27th).

Three call-outs for rescue crews to two stuck cars, family in mud and dog...

Crews from Burnham-On-Sea Coastguard and BARB Search & Rescue had a busy three-hour period yesterday (Saturday), dealing with THREE separate incidents at Brean that...

Huge overnight search launched at Berrow for missing child

A multi-agency search operation was launched overnight to find a child reported to be missing in Berrow.

VIDEO: Three rescued from £40 inflatable at Brean attempting to reach Steep Holm

Three people were rescued from a £40 inflatable dinghy at Brean on Thursday evening (July 25th) as the occupants set out to try and reach Steep Holm island.

Car stuck in soft sand recovered by Burnham-On-Sea’s BARB Search & Rescue

A vehicle was pushed to safety after getting stuck in soft sand on Brean beach on Thursday afternoon (July 25th). Crewmembers from Burnham's BARB Search...

Burnham-On-Sea double amputee set to take on Tough Mudder challenge for charity

A Burnham-On-Sea double amputee is in training to take part in his most gruelling fundraising challenge yet by trying to complete a 10-mile course and 25 obstacles for charity.

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

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

Burnham Coastguards and BARB crews in early morning search for missing man

A major search of the Burnham-On-Sea coastline was launched on Friday morning (May 24th) for a missing person.
Burnham-On-Sea BARB hovercraft

Burnham’s BARB Search & Rescue joins national rescue organisation

Burnham-On-Sea's BARB Search & Rescue has become an affiliate member of a national search and rescue organisation.

Somerset’s newest Rotary Club makes its first donation to Burnham’s BARB

Somerset's newest Rotary Club has made its first donation in the shape of a £425 cheque to BARB Search & Rescue, the Burnham-On-Sea charity that runs life-saving rescue hovercrafts and inshore rescue boats.

Car rescued from sea at Brean as it becomes latest to get stuck

A car was recovered from the sea at Brean after it became stranded in the sea by the incoming tide on Saturday evening (May 4th).

Fun casino evening raises £1,400 for Burnham’s BARB Search & Rescue

Dozens of people have helped to raise £1,400 for Burnham-On-Sea's BARB Search & Rescue during a fun casino evening held at the weekend.

Beach walker injured in fall on Burnham beach helped by Coastguards and BARB

A lady was taken to hospital after suffering a suspected broken knee in a freak accident on Burnham-On-Sea beach today (Bank Holiday Monday).

Van lost to sea on Brean beach after owner misjudges the incoming tide

A Transit Van could not be saved before it was swamped by the incoming tide on Brean beach on Saturday evening (April 20th).

Safety warning after horse is rescued from mud on Burnham-On-Sea beach

A new safety warning has been issued by Coastguards after an exhausted stuck horse was rescued from deep mud on Burnham-On-Sea beach on Sunday (April 14th), prompting a major operation.

Burnham’s marine rescue crews called out twice during busy Saturday

Burnham-On-Sea's marine rescue services were called out twice on Saturday (April 13th) to two separate 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