Burnham-on-Sea RNLI press releases and other news 2015 (click link to go to article.)

 

 31

Both Burnham lifeboats were paged Wednesday 30 December, at 12.02 pm after a wind-surfer had been reported in difficulties off South Berrow beach.

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 Dec 15
 30

 Both Burnham-on-sea RNLI lifeboats launch on Friday December 4th after Concern for safety of two kite surfers

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 Dec 15
29

RNLI support from a full house at screen 3 (Ritz cinema)

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 Nov 15
28

Burnham-on-Sea RNLI 2015 Ball - an unqaulified success, raising almost  £6k

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 Oct 15
27

 Both Burnham-on-Sea RNLI lifeboats paged to assist beach walker

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 Sep 15
26

Both Burnham-on-Sea RNLI lifeboats paged to assist in a multi-agency rescue

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 Sep
25

Both Burnham-on-Sea RNLI lifeboats launched to assist stranded persons at Brean Down.

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 Sep 15
24

Both Burnham-on-Sea RNLI Lifeboats launched to assist disorientated beach walker.

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 Aug 15
23

Burnham-on-Sea RNLI paged to assist stranded walkers Saturday 8 August

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 Aug 15
22

Local super band Riverbrew to headline the Burnham-on-Sea RNLI ball on 24th October

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 Aug 15
21

 New RNLI tractor Driver Dan Fear's shout experience

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 July 15
20

Both Burnham-on-Sea RNLI Lifeboats paged to assist grounded Yacht

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July 15
19

Burnham-on-Sea RNLI volunteer recognized at regional awards ceremony

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 July 15
18

Timon's Burnham-on-Sea RNLI Bronze Experience

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 July 15
17

Both Burnham RNLI lifeboats paged after Swimmers were reported in difficulties

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 July 15
16

Both Burnham-on-Sea Lifeboats paged to assist grounded yacht at 10.41 pm Sunday 7 June

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 June 15
15

Both Burnham-on-Sea RNLI lifeboats paged at 8.05 pm Friday  5 June to assist a grounded fishing boat

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 June 15
14

Burnham-on-Sea RNLI Volunteers paged at 2.35 pm on Thursday 4 June to assist occupant of a dinghy.

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 June 15
 13

Burnham on Sea RNLI launches fundraising appeal for new lifeboat

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 June 15
12

Burnham-on-Sea D Class lifeboat launched after a kite surfer was reported to be in difficulties

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May 15
11A mixed weekend for Burnham-on-Sea RNLI's MAYDAY activity, whilst dodging the rain drops.

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 May 15
 10

Burnham-on-Sea RNLI Lifeboat volunteers paged at Midnight on Mayday Monday

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 May 15
 9

Past RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Ricky Holmes thanked by his crew

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 May 15
 8Both Burnham-on-Sea RNLI Lifeboats tasked to assist Coastguard rescue teams

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 Apr 15
 7

Burnham-on-Sea RNLI need your help to celebrate their yellow wellie weekend 2nd & 3rd May

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 Apr 15
 6Both Burnham-on-Sea lifeboats launched to assist disabled motor cruiser

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 Apr 15
 5

 Burnham-on-Sea RNLI require more volunteers

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 Mar 15
 4

Burnham-on-Sea RNLI beach Mats trial - News flash

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 Feb 15
 3

Burnham-on-Sea RNLI's latest SOS Charity Car Wash Raises over One Thousand Pound

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 Feb 15
 2

Alex reaches Burnham-on-Sea RNLI on his 'long walk round' Great Britain

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 Jan 15
 1RNLI figures show another busy year for volunteers in the South West

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 Jan 15

Both Burnham lifeboats were paged Wednesday 30 December, at 12.02 pm after a wind-surfer had been reported in difficulties off South Berrow beach (In the vicinity of Burnham's lower light).

Both lifeboats were prepped and promptly delivered to the beach launch site, whereupon the volunteers were stood down at approximately 12.18 pm by Milford Haven Coastguard, after the casualty wind-surfer had apparently self-recovered. 

Staines Whitfield, Burnham's Atlantic 75 lifeboat, had unfortunately just been launched, but helmsman Nick Prout taking advantage of the opportunity to test a newly replaced engine under operational conditions, did not immediately return. The entire operation taking place in the afternoon's heavy rain, both boats were eventually returned to the station for stowing and preparing for the next launch.

Helmsman Nick Prout said after the shout; 'Sea's were moderate, with no more than two foot of swell. We were there if needed. It is better to call us out early than risk loss of life by not calling at all.'

 

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  Both Burnham-on-sea RNLI lifeboats launch on Friday December 4th after concern for safety of two kite surfers

A member of the public had rung Milford Haven Coastguard, voicing concerns for the safety of two kite surfers, operating in the vicinity of Brean Down. Coastguards requested lifeboat support, hence the launch request at 4.16 pm.

Burnham lifeboats were immediately launched and proceeded to the target area, in prevailing South-Westerly force 3 winds and moderate sea state - An uncomfortable ride for those volunteers crewing the D class lifeboat Puffin. Crews from both boats carried out a diligent shoreline search, around the Down, and into Weston bay, with no result.

Eventually, it transpired that the kite-surfers' vehicles had left the area, the search was stood down, and both boats returned to Burnham-on-Sea for recovery and wash-down by boat and shore team volunteers at 6.07 pm.'

A Coastguard spokesman said, after the incident was designated as a false alarm with good intention; 'As always, if you see someone in difficulty dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard. It is better to be safe than sorry.'

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RNLI support from a full house at screen 3 launch party

Burnham-on-Sea couple Pat and Beryl Scott have just introduced a third screen to their efficiently run, and popular Ritz cinema.  In a huge £165,000 project, lasting over two years, from conception to completion, the screen seats 72 persons in a plush luxurious surrounding.

Seventy invited guests, were treated to a preview of the latest Tom Hanks film, 'Bridge of Spies' on condition that access was free, but they would have to donate to Burnham's RNLI to leave. Pat Scott also acknowledged the support from 20th Century Fox, who had donated the film for the event, almost two weeks before it's official release date

Before the start of the film, Pat Scott thanked everyone for coming, and explained the house arrangements. Official opening of the screen was marked by a ribbon cutting from Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge Mayor and Mayoress Michael and Maria Clarke. Burnham-on-Sea RNLI Chairman Ashley Edwards followed, delivering a short brief about the local lifeboat station, it's history, and our fundraising project to enable the purchase of a new D class lifeboat replacement for Puffin next year.

At the conclusion of film, guests filed out past RNLI buckets, donating as they saw fit, before moving to the Ritz function room downstairs where Pat had arranged a lavish buffet, after which tokens of thanks were presented to all involved in the project.

Especially recognized was electrician and master of all trades Jon Course, who had project managed on Pat's behalf, and according to Pat had practically lived on site. Also praised was the teamwork from all involved.

The end of the evening was marked by the presentation of a dummy cheque for £637, representing the total collected funds, plus proceeds of a raffle,.

Mayor Michael Clarke said; 'This is a fantastic addition to a great attraction in Burnham.'

RNLI Chairman Ashley Edwards adds; 'We are all very grateful for the donations, which will go towards our new D class lifeboat replacement next year.'

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Burnham-on-Sea RNLI 2015 Ball - an unqaulified success, raising almost £6k

Burnham-on-Sea RNLI station has been set the task of raising £41,000 to fund the replacement of their present D class lifeboat Puffin, next Spring.  The latest initiative was last Saturday's grand ball, at the Batch Country Hotel, in Lympsham.

Three hundred and ten dinner guests were entertained at first, by a short video presentation about Burnham lifeboat, followed by a short speech about the fund-raising project. Many local businesses, families and groups of friends had bought whole tables for the night, and the ensuing atmosphere of the black tie event was light-hearted, friendly and informal.

The delicious three course meal was then speedily served, but with no compromise on quality, to the background of music from the ball disco.

Following the meal, surprise entertainment by 'The Singing waiters', warmed up the audience before the first musical set from prestigious local band 'Riverbrew'.

During a break between sets, Lifeboat Operations Manager Matt Davies talked about the obvious success of the evening, and gave some further information about the station. Presentations were made to the two main organisers, probationary boat crew member Lesley-Ruth Hart and shore crew/tractor driver Dan Fear. Matt also talked about the selfless dedication of RNLI volunteers, who drop everything when the pagers sound, in order to launch the boats at any hour, in any weather.

Following on from this was the second set from Riverbrew, before the evening finalised to the early hours of Sunday, with a disco.

Funds were boosted by a huge raffle of donated prizes, plus an extensive silent auction of donated items. The lucky ticket winner donated his prize (Two nights at the recently upgraded lifeboat college) to the auction, raising even more funds. There was even access to the Batch photo booth (An on-line selfie competition, yet to be judged)

Organiser Lesley-Ruth Hart says; "I am still sat in awe of the immense support we had last night. A truly overwhelming experience.

To the crew - 18 months ago I joined the Burnham rabble (Tongue in cheek) and I have never looked back. Last night you did us proud and thank you for my wonderful gifts.

To everyone who supported us last night - without you we wouldn't be a lifeboat station so the biggest thank you goes to all of you. See you next year!!"

Dan Fear Added: 'I wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone who came along last night and made the 2015 Ball a great success. To raise £6k was truly unexpected and I am humbled by your generosity. To see 310 people in a room enjoying themselves was fantastic. Once more I must thank Lesberina for all the effort she has put in to making this night successful and I will try and persuade he to organise another next year. Once again Thank You.'

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 Both Burnham-on-Sea RNLI lifeboats paged to assist beach walker, 8.26 pm Sunday 28 September.

A 41 year old man  was walking his dog along the beach towards Burnham's lower light, from Berrow.  In the receding light he became disorientated when the incoming high tide caused him to lose his bearings.  He apparently rang his wife to tell her that he wasn't quite sure of his whereabouts.   In response, his mother immediately dialled 999 to speak to the Coastguard, and Milford Haven control subsequently alerted the Burnham-on-Sea coastguard rescue team also paging Burnham -on-Sea RNLI volunteers to launch both boats.

After launching the lifeboats, RNLI crew members liaised with local coastguards in a structured search of Berrow beach in an attempt to locate the man, who by this time was in contact with coastguard on his mobile phone. At one point the crew of Puffin, the Burnham D class lifeboat, set off a parachute flare to assist in locating the man

As the water started to recede with the dropping tide, the man began to regain his bearings and had by that time met with a lifeboat volunteer. The coastguard officers were also walking along the beach towards the casualty, He was handed over to them for debriefing and delivered back to where he had parked his car.

The lifeboats were stood down and returned to Burnham town jetty for recovery and wash down by lifeboat volunteers

Helmsman Ashley Chappel said; ''We located the man approximately one mile North of Burnham's lower lighthouse. He was surprised that we were searching for him, but we explained that we were there to assist, and I waited with him until the arrival of the coastguard'

Lifeboats Press Officer Mike Lang adds; 'The man could have been at risk, and if worried, always dial 999 for the coastguard. A seemingly harmless situation could escalate, and we would rather launch needlessly than have loss of life because someone did not call. However, it is advisable to check the tide times when beach walking'

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  Both Burnham-on-Sea RNLI lifeboats paged to assist in a multi-agency rescue.

Both Burnham-on-Sea lifeboats were launched this afternoon after a 1:45 pm page by Milford Haven Coastguard control. Apparently, a family had been picnicking on the Down when their family dog disappeared over the edge.

The atlantic 75 lifeboat., Staines Whitfield, was the first to arrive, and the volunteer crew spotted the casualty, a medium sized dog, on rocks at the South side, near the end of the Down. Two boat crew members were put ashore to assist the dog, which they carried back (Accompanied by the dogs owner, who had scrambled down the cliff), across the rocks to the water's edge.

By this time, Burnham's D class lifeboat Puffin had arrived, and was able to collect the aforementioned crew members, and transport the dog, plus it's owner to the water's edge at the beach. Because of the local Brean mud flats, both were transferred to a waiting BARB hovercraft, who's crew completed delivery of the casualty into the arms of a waiting Coastguard rescue team.

Both lifeboats were subsequently stood down and returned to Burnham-on-Sea for recovery, and wash down by the boat and shore crew.

RNLI helmsman Nick Edrich said; 'We spotted the dog, which was obviously in distress, with it's owner, on rocks near the end of the Down. Both lifeboats worked together to transport the animal to a waiting BARB hovercraft, which carried both across the Brean mud to the coastguard team. An excellent example of inter-agency working.'

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PS - Lovely to receive the following thank you message: 

Hi. I would like to thank your team for rescuing my dog blaze on Sunday!! Absolutely amazing efforts and lovely volunteers. She has come away with three fractures to the pelvis. Couldn't have got her back without you guys. Thanks ever so much again.

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Both Burnham-on-Sea RNLI lifeboats launched to assist stranded persons at Brean Down.

Burnham-on-Sea RNLI volunteers were paged at 6.15 pm on 10 September, after two persons were reported as being cut off by the tide, on the South side of Brean Down.

Both boats were immediately launched, and proceeded to the casualty area. The couple were spotted at the foot of the down, watching helplessly as their car, which had been parked on the beach, was also being surrounded by water. They had apparently been fishing from rocks, and misjudged how quickly the tide would come in.

The crew of Atlantic 75 lifeboat Staines Whitfield collected the casualty couple from the rocks, transferring them to the D class lifeboat Puffin, for deliverance to the waiting Coastguard rescue team on Brean beach.

Brean's beachwarden Dave Furber had raised the alarm after the couple's MG car became surrounded by sea water. He had then spotted the two, stranded on the rocks, at the southern side of the Down.

A spokesperson for the couple said: "I would like to thank the Coastguards, lifeboats, beach-warden and the police for helping us, and residents Robert and Kelly Heath who helped to get my car out of the sea. We really appreciate the help and have learnt a lesson here about beach safety." 

Burnham-on-Sea Deputy Launch Authority Lyndon Baker says; " It does show how easy it is to get cut off in the Bristol Channel, and an excellent example of using both lifeboats as a team. Extraction by the B Class, then transferred to the D Class, which with its smaller draft can get in to the shore more easily.'

 

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 Both Burnham-on-Sea RNLI Lifeboats launched to assist disorientated beach walker.

Milford Haven Coastguard control paged Burnham-on-Sea RNLI volunteers at 8.35 pm this evening after a beach walker had lost her way on Berrow beach. Apparently, she had become confused by the exceptionally high tide, and was deemed to be at risk.

Both boats were launched as soon as practicable, which also necessitated the opening of the jetty flood gates, by on duty environment agency workers, and proceeded to the targeted area, just past the wreck of the Nornen on Berrow beach.

Before the boats arrival on scene, Burnham-on-Sea Coastguard rescue team had accessed the beach and were able to locate the woman, thus enabling the stand-down of the RNLI volunteers. Both lifeboats returned to Burnham-on-Sea for recovery at approximately 9.30 pm, with wash-down by the shore team and boat crew volunteers.

Helmsman Nick Prout said; "We were tasked to assist Coastguard team members in the search for a woman, on Berrow beach. Coastguard located the woman and were able to assist her, enabling us to stand down and return to Burnham."

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 Burnham-on-Sea RNLI paged to assist stranded walkers Saturday 8 August

Burnham-on-Sea RNLI crew were paged at 3.12 pm on Saturday 8 August after Milford Haven received a report of walkers stranded on the banks of the River Brue.  Lifeboat Puffin was launched immediately and on scene by 3.30 pm.  On arrival the crew discovered two teenagers (Visitors from Weston-Super-Mare), on the opposite bank to Burnham sailing club.

Apparently, they had arrived in Highbridge by train and then proceeded to walk along the river bank to Apex Park, but unfortunately, with no knowledge of local geography, on the wrong side of the river.

When arriving opposite the Burnham sailing club pontoons, they attracted the attention of a local yachtsman, who promptly alerted Milford Coastguard control. Milford, out of concern for the young lads' safety, requested Burnham-on-Sea RNLI to launch. RNLI volunteers, transferred them to the safety of the Sailing club pontoons, and a waiting Coastguard rescue team.

Lifeboat Helmsman Kevin Barber said; 'They were nice enough lads, obviously somewhat embarrassed to have been rescued, and we were happy to help." 'It was good to put skills we learn during our training exercises to good use.'

Dave Parsons, Deputy Launch Authority says 'A good result, the lads did the right thing calling for help when they realised they were in trouble'.

Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer Helen Brodie adds: 'With the beach being busy there was a lot of interest from the public. Firstly I would like to thank them for clearing the launch area so quickly when requested. Once the lifeboats are launched we are happy to answer any questions that we can, but we will not be able to discuss specifics of the shout.'

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 Local super band Riverbrew to headline the Burnham-on-Sea RNLI ball on 24th October

This is a wonderful opportunity.  Experience a three course meal at the Batch Country hotel, combined with live music from Riverbrew.  Also included are DJ support, charity raffle and auction,  plus the chance to support Burnham's lifeboat appeal whilst having fun, fun, fun.  There is even a lucky ticket prize of a night at the prestigious Lifeboat College in Poole.

Tickets are only £28 each, and pre-booked tables are available for social groups or organizations. Be aware that this is a black tie event, but lounge suit attire is also acceptable.

Tickets are bookable or available from the RNLI shop, any RNLI crew members, or by ringing 07894 834776 / 07854 087742

Organiser Lesley-Ruth Hart says; 'This is a great opportunity to get your dancing shoes on, and aid fund-raising for our new D class lifeboat appeal'

Co-organiser Dan Fear adds; 'We are also accepting items, for the raffle and charity auction. Pledges can be accepted via the published phone numbers above, or items may be dropped in to the RNLI shop which is open daily.'

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 New RNLI tractor Driver Dan Fear's shout experience

Burnham-on-Sea shore crew member Dan Fear has been a volunteer for around 18 months. Just over a week ago, he was attending a training course, to learn how to drive the Talus MB-4H specialized launch tractor, and last Monday passed off as qualified by a Divisional inspector. Sunday saw him launching the Atlantic 75 lifeboat Staines Whitfield, in a shout to aid a stranded yacht.

Dan says; 'The past 18 months has been a fantastic opportunity for me to get involved with the RNLI in Burnham and although I'm not a boat crew member have really felt a part of the team since I started.'

Volunteer Lifeboats Press Officer Mike Lang adds; 'We badly need more shore crew members to help launch the lifeboats. Dan's example shows that being a lifeboat volunteer can be exciting, with a sense of involvement that comes from being part of an enthusiastic team We can provide all the training you need, so pop in and see us. We train on most Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings, or you can ring me on mobile: 07889 815860

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 Both Burnham-on-Sea RNLI Lifeboats paged to assist grounded Yacht

A 22ft yacht Pipalotto, with a crew of two, was on passage from Combwich to Portishead, Sunday afternoon July 11.  As the craft neared Burnham-on-Sea, the engine started to show signs of failing, so the two man crew, quite properly decided to head for the Sailing club pontoons , in the River Brue.  

Being unfamiliar with the local pilotage, handicapped by a combination of swell, and failing engine, they eventually ran aground in the River Brue. Milford Haven Coastguard were contacted, and consequentially both Burnham lifeboats were launched to assist.

For various reasons, the casualty vessel proved to be stuck hard and fast on the shelving river bank, with a fast dropping tide, so the crew were taken off and delivered to Burnham jetty, where the lifeboats were recovered and returned to the station.

Because of the hazardous location of the yacht, it was decided to relaunch the lifeboats on the next high tide, to continue recovery. This they did at 4.30 am the next morning. The yacht had started to drag it's anchor, but the volunteer crews were able to safely free the craft and moor it at the sailing club pontoons, before returning to Burnham jetty for recovery and wash-down at the lifeboat station.

Helmsman Ashley said; "We at first tried to tow off the yacht stern first, but this strategy was abandoned because of the risk of rudder damage, the tiller being forced hard over." "The yacht was well and truly stuck."

Lifeboat Press Officer Mike Lang adds; "We were all attending a lifeboat crew family social afternoon. The crews promptly made their way to the station, but the wives girlfriends and children were left to fend for themselves, which caused a few humorous strategic problems sorting out travel arrangements."

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Burnham-on-Sea RNLI volunteer recognized at regional awards ceremony

Burnham-on-Sea volunteer lifeboats press officer (LPO) Mike Lang was presented with an inscribed statuette at last week's regional awards ceremony, in the Lighthouse Arts centre at Poole, Dorset.

Many medals, bronze silver and gold, plus certificates of thanks, were presented by RNLI CEO Paul Boissier, at the well executed and finely tuned ceremony, which took over an hour, and concluded with a short social reception at the centre.

Mike's citation was read out by Tom Mansell, RNLI Divisional Operations Manager, South West England précised below;

Tom said; 'Since the Burnham-on-Sea Lifeboat station was adopted by the RNLI, Michael has carried out the role of lifeboat press officer with great skill and enthusiasm. He frequently identifies stories which will grab the interest of the media and maintains the high medial profile of the RNLI at Burnham in both the local and national news media. On occasions, he has had to deal with sensitive stories, which he has done with professionalism. We are very grateful to Michael for his continuing voluntary service as LPO at Burnham and wish to recognise this with the award of a Statuette of a Lifeboatman.

Mike adds; 'It is good to be recognized, but publicity at Burnham-on-Sea is very much a team effort, and I owe a lot to Helen, my deputy LPO, for her valued support and initiative, particularly in the social media area.

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 Burnham-on-Sea Sea Cadet and King Alfred school Student Timon Massarella has been taking part in the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. Amongst the usual DofE activities, he needed to do some voluntary service work. As his mother is a serving RNLI lifeboat crew member at Burnham-on-Sea, it was only natural that he join the station DofE scheme.

During his time at the station he learned about navigation, boat handling, shore team support, and experienced some acquaintance trips aboard both the Burnham-on-Sea lifeboats during specified training sessions. He has also participated in RNLI charity car washes

His RNLI training now at an end, he continues with DofE in liaison with his sea cadet unit, at Burnham-on-Sea.

Deputy Launch Authority Lyndon Baker says; 'It's been great to see Timon develop in confidence throughout his time at the station, as his knowledge and experience has grown.

He was a proven useful addition to the team and we hope he can continue to build on the skills he's gained during his time here.'

Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Mike Lang adds; 'Our lifeboat station participates in the DofE scheme, and those interested should contact via their school DofE coordinator, although please keep in mind that there are limited vacancies.'

Mike goes on to remind the following; 'I take this moment to enter a plea for more lifeboat volunteers. We are desperate for additional shore team members to help launch the lifeboats. All training is supplied, and all that is needed is basic common sense plus a commitment to regular training (Of course age limits apply within reason). Any interested persons can call me on my mobile - 07889 815860, and I will personally introduce them to the station.

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 Both Burnham RNLI lifeboats paged after Swimmers were reported in difficulties

Burnham-on-Sea RNLI volunteers were paged at 8:26pm this evening (Friday 3 July) after swimmers were reported in the water on the left hand side of Burnham Pavilion, and thought to be in difficulties. Milford Haven Coastguard control therefore took the decision to request RNLI assistance

D class lifeboat Puffin was speedily launched, whilst the station Atlantic 75, Staines Whitfield , stood bye on Burnham jetty. The crew of Puffin searched diligently close to the beach, and further out, with no success. At length, Coastguard decided that it was a false alarm with good intention, and stood the RNLI volunteers down. Puffin was recovered, and both lifeboats returned to the station for wash down and preparation for the next launch.

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Mendip Rotary step in to support Burnham-on-Sea RNLI lifeboat appeal.

Mike Hiles, President of Mendip Rotary club, visited Burnham-on-Sea RNLI Lifeboat station on Wednesday last, for a look around the station, and to present a cheque for £1,200 towards the station new D class fund-raising appeal.

It was in fact, Mike's last official act before handing over the presidency of Mendip Rotary, which is also a sister club to Burnham-on-Sea Rotary.

Mike Hiles said; "We are happy to support Burnham-on-Sea RNLI to help the purchase of their new D Class lifeboat.'

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Model support for Burnham on Sea RNLI replacement D Class appeal.

The appeal fund for replacement of Burnham-on-Sea lifeboat Puffin received a boost last week from Burnham and District Model Railway Club, when club member John Langley presented a cheque for £483 to RNLI Station Chairman Ashley Edwards.

Ashley Edwards said; 'We welcome this donation, for although we have a long way to go, I am confident that with the support of the community, we will reach our £41,000 target.'

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Tuesday 30 June - paged approx 2.30pm to launch D Class - assist people in trouble in the water. They managed to get themselves back to the beach, and were given safety advice by the coastguard.

Better safe than sorry. If you see someone in trouble at the beach or in the water call 999 and ask for the coastguard.

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Both Burnham-on-Sea Lifeboats paged to assist grounded yacht at 10.41 pm Sunday 7 June

A yacht had run aground off the Northern end of Stert Island earlier in the day. At that time, BARB Search and Rescue had transported a Coastguard rescue team member to check on the welfare of the yacht's occupants. All was OK, so the yacht was left to refloat on the next high tide.

Lifeboat volunteers were paged to assist the yacht's crew, after they radioed Milford Haven Coastguard for assistance, when they were struggling to successfully re-float the craft, and had discovered a rope tangled up around their propeller. The lifeboat crew rendered assistance, and once freed, they escorted the yacht to the safety of the sailing club.

This done, the lifeboats were recovered by the shore crew and prepared yet again, for this had effectively been the third callout that weekend.

Deputy Launch Authority Lyndon Baker said; 'This was a routine shout. We provided assistance to get them under way, and escorted them, as they proceeded under their own power, to the security of the sailing club pontoons in the River Brue.'

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 Both Burnham-on-Sea RNLI lifeboats paged at 8.05 pm Friday 5 June to assist a grounded fishing boat

Short video of launch can be viewed here:https://www.rnlivideolibrary.org.uk/getvideo.aspx?vid=rWZqP936


A local fishing boat had been reported aground on the Westerly side of Stert Island. Both RNLI lifeboats were speedily launched and proceeded to the reported area. The casualty vessel, a 30 foot fishing boat, was discovered aground on Westerly side of Stert Island, being pounded by heavy surf on the lee shore. Not an ideal place to be.

After a couple of unsuccessful attempts, it was decided to utilise Puffin, Burnham's D class lifeboat to pass a line to the casualty vessel. This they eventually did, and proceeded to pull the fishing boat off the beach, through the breaking heavy surf. Sea state on that side of the island was moderate to heavy with S/Westerly winds estimated at force 4, gusting 5 at times.

Once clear, the fishing boat was able to proceed under it's own power, accompanied by the Atlantic 75 lifeboat Staines Whitfield, to it's home at Burnham's River Brue. Puffin went on ahead to be recovered first

Because of the high tide and unsheltered jetty, lifeboats needed to be recovered at the Sailing Club in the River Brue. This was complete by approximately 9.50 pm, and boats were transported back along the South Esplanade to the Lifeboat Station for wash down and preparation for the next launch.

D Class Helmsman Nick Edrich said; "These were the most extreme conditions I have ever worked in. The breaking waves and heavy surf made the job very difficult."

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Burnham-on-Sea RNLI Volunteers paged at 2.35 pm on Thursday 4 June to assist occupant of a dinghy.

Less than 24 hours after the successful launch of an appeal for it's replacement, D class lifeboat Puffin was put into service, when a water user was reported to be in difficulties at the mouth of the River Brue.

The lifeboat crew proceeded speedily to the casualty, who proved to be an experienced local, caught unawares, whilst carrying out remedial work on his mooring. Being unable to successfully row his inflatable dinghy against the offshore wind and ebbing tide, he risked being carried out to sea.

The volunteer lifeboat crew transported him and his dinghy back to the Burnham jetty for recovery. Lifeboat Puffin was recovered, hosed briefly down (There was a lot of mud), before being taken back to the lifeboat station for washing down and refuelling by the shore team.

Once landed, the embarrassed but grateful casualty thanked the crew for their prompt assistance, and made arrangements to transport his dinghy back to the safety of the Sailing club compound.

Helmsman Nick Prout said; 'It just goes to show, even the most experienced water users can need help sometimes. We were happy to assist.'

That Pager Moment: Operations Manager Matt Davies was busy packing to go away on holiday, but dropped everything to attend the lifeboat shout when his pager went off.

Lifeboat Press Officer Mike Lang adds; 'Our crew are ready to launch 24/7, and will spare no effort to attend when someone is in trouble. Anyone can be a lifeboat volunteer, it is absorbing and can result in life-long friendships, training is provided, and you do not need any previous experience. We do need more volunteers at present, and anyone interested can ring me on my mobile: 07889 815860. I will arrange a visit and introduction to the crew.

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Burnham on Sea RNLI launches fundraising appeal for new lifeboat

The volunteers at Burnham on Sea RNLI will launch a special fundraising appeal to raise £41,000 towards the cost of a new D class inshore lifeboat on Wednesday 3 June 2015.

Next year, Burnham on Sea's current D class lifeboat Puffin will come to the end of its operational life after giving 10 years of sterling service since its arrival in 2006.

Matt Davies, volunteer RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager at Burnham on Sea says;

'This is an exciting time for all the volunteers at Burnham on Sea and a real chance for the station to show the local community what we are all about.

I know our dedicated fundraising team already have a host of fun and interesting fundraising events lined up for the next 12 months and the volunteer crew are looking forward to getting involved and working with the local community to raise the money needed.'

Since2010, Burnham on Sea's volunteer lifeboat crew have launched 88 times and assisted 53 people in trouble at sea.

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Burnham-on-Sea D Class lifeboat launched after a kite surfer was reported to be in difficulties

Short video can be viewed here: https://www.rnlivideolibrary.org.uk/getvideo.aspx?vid=SS3g9wbT

Burnham-on-Sea RNLI volunteers were paged at 1.11pm on Bank Holiday Monday, after a kite-surfer had been reported in difficulties, off Burnham-on-Sea beach. D class lifeboat Puffin was speedily launched, and the lifeboat crew immediately spotted the kite-surfer, in the act of climbing the Burnham Jetty navigation light pole. The lifeboat crew approached the beacon, and asked what he was doing.

Apparently, he had become detached from his board after the kite lines became tangled. He had deposited the kite safely ashore, before swimming back out to find his board. He had climbed the pole to gain extra height, to assist the search for the board.

The volunteers requested that he descend, giving appropriate safety advice, whereupon he re-entered the water, was assisted into the lifeboat, and delivered safely to the shoreline. His surf board was also located and brought to the shore.

The lifeboat was recovered by the shore team, and returned to the lifeboat station for wash-down and refuelling ready for the next shout.

Burnham Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Mike Lang said; 'Our volunteers were glad to help, but it is not a good idea to climb navigation marks, in case of accidental damage, which can adversely affect other water users. He had also placed himself at risk by his action.'

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 A mixed weekend for Burnham-on-Sea RNLI's MAYDAY activity, whilst dodging the rain drops.

After a quiet time during Saturday's inclement weather, Sunday brought a boost in visitors during the intermittent sunny intervals, as holidaymakers braved the elements to find somewhere to go. The teddy tombola, was extremely popular, courtesy of fundraiser Sandra King's granddaughter Emily, who was really upset at not being able to attend due to an attack of chicken pox, especially as Emily's donation of six black bags full of immaculate teddies raised £145.

Thanks go to all the fund-raisers who attended (You know who you are), Especially Ice-cream seller Marc Lynham, and snack caravan 'Dave's Diner', who donated their time over the weekend, and not forgetting lifeboat volunteer Mike Hookway, who ran the book and game stall, in liaison with the fund-raising team.

Fund-raisers treasurer Jan Pearce said; 'A total of £535 was raised from the weekend, which, considering the inclement weather, was not too bad at all.'

Thanks also goes to those who donated items for the raffle, plus the book and game stall.


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 Burnham-on-Sea RNLI Lifeboat volunteers paged at Midnight on Mayday Monday

Lifeboat volunteers, many of whom had already retired to their beds on Monday 4 May, were paged to assist police in a search for a missing person, in an area East of Hinkley Point. D Class Lifeboat Puffin was first away, but stood down by Milford Haven Coastguard control, as it reached No 2 navigation buoy. The crew of Staines Whitfield were stood down as they were launching.

The missing man had been found, both wet and cold, and subsequently taken to hospital by police.

Both lifeboats returned to the lifeboat station for wash-down by boat and shore crew, then made ready for the next launch.

Burnham-on-Sea Lifeboats Press Officer Mike Lang says; 'Our volunteer crews are ready to respond 24/7, whatever the weather. The shore crew are just as valuable as the boat crew, and we would warmly welcome more volunteers in that area.'


5 May Burnham-on-Sea 008_2015 

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 Past RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Ricky Holmes thanked by his crew

Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) Rickie Holmes handed over the reins at Burnham-on-Sea lifeboat station to Matt Davies (dealt with under a previous press release), just before Christmas and had subsequently been covering Deputy Launch Authority duties since then. Recently he had stepped down altogether from operations, preparing for a house move to the South Coast, but maintaining social contact with the Burnham-on-Sea volunteers.

At the recent shore-based training night, Ricky was presented with presents from the crew and thanked for his dedication over the years. Ricky was a founder member of BARB, and had transferred to the RNLI when they came back to Burnham in 2003. Initially driving the launching tractors, but progressing to DLA, and onwards to run the station as lifeboat Operations Manager.

Station Chairman Ashley Edwards thanked Ricky for his dedication and hard work, presenting him with a parcel containing a wooden/ brass clock/weather vane plaque, plus a night for him and his wife Wendy to stay at the Lifeboat college.

Senior Helm Nick Edrich said of Ricky; 'All at BOS lifeboat station would like to thank Ricky for his efforts over the many years he has been involved in helping save life's at sea, his commitment and dedication to the role certainly didn't go unnoticed by his fellow crew members at the station. We wish Ricky and his Wife all the very best in his new venture in the south coast.'

4 May Burnham-on-Sea 007_2015

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Both Burnham-on-Sea RNLI Lifeboats tasked to assist Coastguard rescue teams

 

Volunteer lifeboat crew members had launched on exercise on Sunday morning, when they were tasked at 10.00 am, to attend an incident at Brean when a dog had been reported falling over the edge of the Down, in proximity of the fort, with a distressed owner, having descended the Down in a search for the animal.

On arrival, the lifeboat volunteers carried out an unsuccessful search of the South side of the Down. Weston-super-mare lifeboats were also out on exercise, and subsequently tasked by Milford Haven Coastguard Control, to assist searching the Down, with the Burnham-on-Sea Atlantic 75 lifeboat Staines Whitfield acting as incident controller.

Two Burnham crew members were landed via D class lifeboat Puffin, and carried out a search of the South shore, in liaison with Weston RNLI volunteers. The dog's owner was located, and transferred to the Burnham Staines Whitfield lifeboat.

Burnham-on-Sea volunteers came across the dog, fortunately still alive, and Weston D class recovered the animal, transporting, it with the owner to Brean beach, where Coastguard officers informed the owner of the locality of the nearest veterinary practice.

Lifeboat Helmsman Ashley Chappell said; 'The owner was extremely relieved to find his pet still alive.'

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 Burnham-on-Sea RNLI need your help to celebrate their yellow wellie weekend 2nd & 3rd May.

 

All over the UK, lifeboat volunteers and supporters will be running fund-raising events with a yellow wellie theme during the May bank holiday weekend, to mark the RNLI's latest fund-raising initiative 'MayDay'.

Our RNLI volunteers at Burnham on Sea are preparing to open the lifeboat station for a weekend of fun activities such as; The Atlantic 75 Lifeboat on display, a teddy tombola, knitted wellies on sale, a sale of games and puzzles, a drawing competition for the kids, a raffle and lots, lots more. You can also have a go at soaking our crew with wet sponges in the stocks. Don't forget our lifeboat shop will be open, full with souvenirs to take home with you. Refreshments will also be available, for a donation, with an anticipated hog roast organized.

We are urgently seeking donations of books and games, plus raffle prizes.

Burnham-on-Sea Lifeboats Press Officer Mike Lang says; "The station will be open on Saturday and Sunday for lots of fun activities. Come, meet us, and bring the children along'

'If anyone wishes to talk about being a lifeboat volunteer they can ring me on my mobile: 07889 815860, and I can arrange a special conducted tour of the facilities.

 


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 Both Burnham-on-Sea lifeboats launched to assist disabled motor cruiser


Lifeboats Staines Whitfield and Puffin were launched at 2.30 pm on Saturday, 4 April, at the bottom of the tide, which meant a very muddy launch and a potentially muddy recovery. The volunteer crews proceeded down a narrow channel in the River Parrett until they spotted the casualty, a 24 feet long motor cruiser named Mustique, anchored in the Severn Estuary approximately 3 miles North from Hinkley Point power station.

On reaching the casualty it transpired that the crew of three were unable to restart the vessel's engines after an extended fishing session. helmsman/mechanic Nick Prout boarded the vessel, and diagnosed the problem, enabling the restarting of engines, and sending the power boat on it's way back to Portishead.

The lifeboats returned to Burnham-on-Sea where the newly extended bog mats proved invaluable in an effective but muddy recovery by the shore crew.

Helmsman Nick Prout said; 'The motor boat was in good order and well equipped with radio, lifejackets, and other safety equipment. They were just unlucky, but able to seek assistance notifying the Coastguard via their radio. We were happy to render assistance.'

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Burnham-on-Sea RNLI seeks more volunteers

More volunteers are needed to help launch the Burnham-on-Sea lifeboats as two of our shore team have progressed to probationary boat crew status. No experience is necessary, as training is provided. All that is needed is a common sense attitude to life, the ability to commit oneself to regular training, and basic physical fitness, within the generally accepted age limits (over the age of 18).

Applicants may be male or female, as the RNLI is an equal opportunities organization, and ideally should be able to attend the lifeboat station quickly when paged for emergency attendance (Referred to as 'shouts').

Prospective volunteers should attend a Wednesday evening training session, and make themselves known to a member of the lifeboat station management team, where they will be able to discuss requirements in detail.

Lifeboat Operations Manager Matt Davies says; 'Working within the RNLI can be very satisfying, and team members often develop life-long friendships. Shore team members may progress to boat crew, if young enough, or become involved in tractor driving. Of course, this is also dependent on operational requirements. Come along and meet us.'

 

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Burnham-on-Sea RNLI beach Mats trial - News flash

The Improved low water lifeboat launch facility on Burnham-on-Sea beach, utilizing bog mats constructed from high density hardwood, has been in operation for several months now and so far proved to be very successful. So much so, that the contractor who originally provided the mats was recently asked to provide an extension further towards the river bank.

Lifeboats Press Officer Mike Lang says; 'Unfortunately, the contractor's supplier provided timber of the wrong specification, prompting rumours of trial failure, when the additional wood proved to be too buoyant. Eagle-eyed beach walkers have spotted this resulting in comments on a local Internet forum.'

The contractor will be replacing the extended mats as soon as practicable.

Lifeboat Operations Manager Matt Davies says; 'This low water launch facility has proved to be invaluable to us when launching at low water. We look forward to using the completed launch mat extension.'

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Burnham-on-Sea RNLI's latest SOS Charity Car Wash Raises over One Thousand Pound

In the unseasonable dry conditions, Burnham RNLI's volunteer crew washed over 90 cars to the usual pristine finish, raising a total of £1,015 for RNLI funds.

Burnham-on-Sea Lifeboat Operations Manager Matt Davies says: "A record breaking £1,015 was raised with over 90 cars washed! Thanks to all those involved and a special thanks to the hand car wash next door who closed for the duration. I'm really pleased we broke the £1000 mark, everyone worked really hard to raise a fantastic amount for the RNLI."

 

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Alex reaches Burnham-on-Sea RNLI on his 'long walk round' Great Britain

Fundraiser Alex Ellis-Roswell, 21 is walking around the coast of Great Britain to raise money for the charity that saves lives at sea. His challenge began on 3 August at Margate and on 30 January, he departed Burnham-on-Sea RNLI for Weston-super-Mare.

Following the death of his father last Christmas, Alex sold his three year-old advertising business in Canterbury and set off on both a spiritual and fundraising journey of a lifetime. His father, Raymond had dedicated much of his life to charities which inspired Alex to take up this challenge to raise awareness of the work of the Institution's volunteers.

Alex says; 'RNLI lifeboat crew volunteers save an average of 23 lives at sea every single day. In my opinion, they're heroes. They put themselves right in the thick of what is Britain's most unforgiving environment - our sea. They receive no government funding for their work and the majority of lifeboat crew are volunteers. They train all year round to provide this service, as was proven by Burnham who were were out training on a cold wintery evening being pelted by hailstones when I joined them.

Expecting the 'long walk round' to take two years to complete, Alex is well-prepared for wild camping and is welcoming offers of accommodation along the 6,500 mile route. Alex says; 'The welcome I've received in Burnham has completely blown me away.'

The local community got behind Alex, showing their support for him as well as the RNLI. They wrote some motivational mail to keep him going on his journey. Bessie's sweet shopp acted as a mailbox prior to his arrival for the cards, poems, letter etc. Lots of local businesses offered their services, from laundry to hair cuts. The Railway pub gave him a hot meal as soon as he arrived from Minehead and the Royal Clarence hotel provided him with a room for his stay.

Deputy lifeboat press officer Helen Brodie say; 'It was a real pleasure to meet Alex. The crew were very keen to show their thanks for all he is doing for us, an inspiring man. And we are proud of how our local community rallied round on his behalf.'

For more details on Alex's adventures, please follow him on Twitter (@EllisRoswell) and if you wish to donate please see his sponsorship page: www.mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/longwalkround

 

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Figures announced by the RNLI today (Wednesday 28 January) reveal that 2014 was another busy year for the volunteer crews across the south west.

Lifeboats were launched 1,560 times and rescued 1,659 people - the highest since 2011. With approximately seven million people using the region's beaches throughout the summer.