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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

Burnham’s BARB Search & Rescue given boost by Royal Air Force Police Association

Burnham-On-Sea charity BARB Search & Rescue has this week been presented with a donation of £250 by the Royal Air Force Police Association Wiltshire branch.

Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards and BARB called out in early hours to missing person

Teams from Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards and BARB Search & Rescue were called out in the early hours of Thursday morning (August 26th) to search for a missing person.
Burnham-On-Sea Coastguard

Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards and BARB called out to search for missing girl

Burnham-On-Sea Coastguard and BARB Search & Rescue teams were called out on Sunday evening (August 22nd) to search for a girl who was reported to be missing.

Stranded woman rescued on Brean beach by Coastguards and hovercraft

A woman was rescued from Brean beach on Tuesday afternoon (August 10th) after getting stuck in mud while trying to reach her dog.

Rescue crews called to help family on mudflats on Brean beach

Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards and hovercraft crews were called to Brean beach to a family spotted wading across the mudflats at low tide.

Huge overnight search at Brean after 999 call for man ‘drowning in sea’

Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards, RNLI lifeboats, two BARB hovercrafts and the Coastguard helicopter were called out late last night following a 999 call reporting someone was drowning in the sea.

3.30am call-out for Burnham’s marine rescue services to help person in sea

Burnham-On-Sea’s marine rescue services were called out early this morning (Wednesday) following a report of a person attempting to enter the sea at Brean.

Sky dive raises over £2,000 for Burnham-On-Sea’s BARB Search & Rescue

Three brave Burnham-On-Sea fundraisers have raised over £2,000 for a local rescue charity by taking part in a sky dive over the weekend.
Stranded woman rescued from mud on Burnham-On-Sea beach by Coastguards

Stranded woman rescued from mud on Burnham-On-Sea beach by Coastguards

A woman was rescued from mud on Burnham-On-Sea beach by Coastguards on Bank Holiday Monday.

Stranded car stuck on Berrow beach is hauled to safety

A car was pulled to safety on Sunday (May 23rd) after getting stranded on Berrow beach.

Coastguards, BARB and RNLI called to Berrow amid concern for man entering sea

Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards, a BARB hovercraft and an RNLI lifeboat were called to Berrow beach this morning (Thursday) amid concern for a person attempting to enter the sea.

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.

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