Four people were helped to safety after an out-of-control speedboat was rescued by Burnham-On-Sea RNLI lifeboat crews from the sea at Brean yesterday (Tuesday, 15th June).
Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards and RNLI crews were called to Brean at 1.34pm following reports of the small 11ft-long Dory speedboat circling out of control with three men onboard and one man in the water due to a steering fault.
Burnham’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat was launched within 15 minutes and the crew headed to the speedboat, which was 1,000 metres south of Brean Down, and around 100 metres out from the beach.
“Once the casualty craft was reached, it was noticeable that the large expanse of mud and the deeper draught of the lifeboat would have rendered recovery at Brean difficult,” says a spokesman.
“The decision was therefore taken to launch the Burnham-On-Sea D-Class lifeboat Burnham Reach, which because of its shallow draught, might have aided a smooth recovery.”
“Unfortunately, as the D-Class lifeboat arrived at the scene, the speedboat was hard aground, and recovery at that time was impossible, it being almost low water.”
“Therefore, the decision was taken to return to Burnham and relaunch at 6.30pm on the incoming tide. The lifeboat crew helped the remaining crew head through the mud, and prepared for the return to Burnham, and a very muddy washdown.”
Once the tide headed back in during the evening, the crews assembled back at Brean Beach and, once the vessel was refloated by the tide, it was towed by the lifeboat crews to Burnham jetty where it was recovered onto its trailer by the owner.
The stricken speedboat is pictured below being towed to Burnham jetty.
A Coastguard spokesman said: “With anything mechanical, it can go wrong and normally does at the most inopportune time. In this case it was just as the tide had turned and they were unable to make it back to shore, leaving them in a precarious position. They all had lifejackets on, were carrying emergency flares and had mobile phones for communication. The only thing they didn’t have was luck.”
Lifeboat Helm Ashley Chappel added: “When we arrived, there were a couple of crew in the Dory speedboat, and one in the water trying to unsuccessfully repair a steering fault. By that time, recovery proved to be impossible, so we decided to return when the water was higher on the next tide.”
It was a long day for the crews on one of the hottest days of the year. The RNLI shore crew were grateful for the donation of ice creams from the van on Burnham beach. Also, Brit Chips sent across cold drinks for the crewmembers. And the Coastguard team were grateful for a donation of cold drinks from Life’s A Beach cafe in Brean.