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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

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.

Fundraising community Christmas tree launches for town’s BARB Search & Rescue

A Burnham-On-Sea hotel is encouraging visitors to attach colourful baubles to a Christmas tree as seasonal good wishes or touching tributes to loved ones while raising funds for a local charity.

Burnham-On-Sea rescue hovercraft charity BARB reviews busy year for its volunteers

Burnham-On-Sea rescue hovercraft charity BARB Search & Rescue has reviewed a busy year for its volunteers during its Annual General Meeting.

Father and son rescued after getting stuck in mud on Burnham-On-Sea beach

A father and son have been rescued after getting stranded in knee-deep mud on Burnham-On-Sea beach.

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 (October 10th) when it held a fundraising event for Burnham-On-Sea's rescue hovercraft charity BARB Search & Rescue.

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.

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