Three sailors rescued after extensive RNLI search in the Bristol Channel

Three sailors have been found off Flat Holm Island after an extensive search this morning (Thursday 21 March) involving five RNLI lifeboats and HM Coastguard 187 helicopter.

Three sailors left a cargo ship moored two miles off Minehead last night. The sailors left the ship in the evening on a RIB and headed for Barry. They were reported overdue at 7am this morning. The three had attempted to make their way back from Barry to Minehead on the RIB but got lost in foggy conditions in the channel.

Minehead RNLI’s Atlantic class lifeboat and Barry Dock’s Trent all-weather lifeboat were launched just after 7am this morning to assist in the search. As the search continued two lifeboats from Penarth RNLI, the Atlantic 85 and D-class lifeboat, along with Ilfracombe RNLI’s Shannon class lifeboat also launched to assist at around 8am. All five lifeboats lifeboats carried out detailed searches along their coastlines.

The sailors were found safe but very cold on Flat Holm Island at around 8:30am by Penarth RNLI volunteers. After being assessed by the RNLI volunteers the Coastguard 187 helicopter landed on the island to further assess the casualties but it was decided they were well enough to return to land by lifeboat.

All lifeboats have now been stood down and are returning to their relative stations.