UK: 48 people rescued from sinking boat near Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire, Wales – 250513 1600z

48 people rescued from sinking boat near Skomer Island

BBC

The Lady Helen being helped by her sister boatThe Lady Helen being helped by her sister boat

Nearly 50 passengers, including children, have been rescued from a boat after it struck a rock and started taking in water off Pembrokeshire.

The Lady Helen had been sailing from Martin’s Haven to nearby Skomer Island.

A mayday was sent out and a number of other boats went to its rescue, including its sister boat, the Dale Princess.

Milford Haven coastguard said all 48 passengers were “safely ashore with no injuries”.

Boat trips are popular to Skomer, a wildlife sanctuary and home to colonies of thousands of sea birds just off the Pembrokeshire coast.

Diver Dr Pauline Smith picked up passengers on her friend’s boat, Over Dale.

Location map

“We were a group of divers who were on our way out and a mayday call was put out,” said Dr Smith.

“The Lady Helen was going from Martin’s Haven to Skomer and it had run aground on some rocks between the island.

“A number of boats had to go to its rescue.

Everyone has done an excellent job carrying out this rescue, including all the various vessels that responded Barrie Yelland Milford Haven Coastguard

“Between them, the boats disembarked 40 passengers.”

The sister boat, the Dale Princess, managed to drag the sinking Lady Helen off the rocks and began pulling her gently further ashore.

The RNLI and police boats are also in attendance.

Dr Smith, a GP from Pembrokeshire, said: “We had quite a few children and elderly ladies on our boat. The children were initially a bit scared. They said the boat had been listing. But once we gave them a Twix each they were fine.”

Milford Haven coastguard said the alert was raised at 12.55 BST when the Lady Helen issued a mayday alert.

The Lady Helen The Lady Helen, pictured during the rescue, struck a rock in Little Sound

The boat had struck a rock in Little Sound, between Martin’s Haven and Skomer Island.

It became stuck and began taking on water when she was pulled free by another boat.

“We can report that all 48 passengers are now safely ashore with no injuries,” said Milford Haven Coastguard watch manager Barrie Yelland.

“The vessel has now been beached at a place called Martin’s Haven and there are three salvage pumps on board and she is being pulled further up the shore.

“Everyone has done an excellent job carrying out this rescue, including all the various vessels that responded.”

The RNLI lifeboats from Angle and St David’s were involved, along with a Dyfed-Powys Police rib and an RAF helicopter from Chivenor in Devon.

“Special thanks must also go out to the boat Over Dale,” said the watch manager.

The Lady Helen The stricken Lady Helen was pulled ashore by its sister boat, the Dale Princess”

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