Wales

Lifeboat crews' 'hectic weekend' around the Welsh coast

Dinghy drifting off the coast at Rhyl
Image caption This dinghy drifting off the coast at Rhyl was one of six such craft needing rescuing on Sunday by Rhyl lifeboat

Lifeboats across Wales carried out at least 35 rescues in a "hectic weekend" for crews as tourists flocked to the beach to enjoy the sun.

Two water bikes collided head-on in Colwyn Bay leaving two people needing hospital treatment for their injuries.

A man in his 30s injured his face and a woman in her 20s hurt her hand during the collision on Sunday and were taken to Glan Clwyd hospital at Bodelwyddan.

In Rhyl, the lifeboat launched 10 times in eight hours on Sunday.

Ambulance and local coastguards were first on the scene at the water bike collision at around 1430 BST and managed to get the four people involved to shore before the Llandudno inshore lifeboat arrived.

One of the bikes was extensively damaged.

Llandudno's lifeboat had also been called out after a dinghy carrying two tourists from Merseyside was seen drifting off the Great Orme headland around 1400 BST.

The crew reported neither man was wearing a life jacket or carrying any safety equipment. They were guided back to shore by the crew.

'People out to have fun'

The busy lifeboat crew at Rhyl had to rescue six inflatable dinghies which got swept out to sea in the breeze, and take two groups of people, one including six children, off sandbanks north of the boathouse on Rhyl beach after they got cut off by the tide.

They were also called out on standby after a horse got stuck in the mud on a beach at Talacre. Fire crews and the coastguard managed to free the animal before the tide came in.

Rhyl RNLI volunteer Colin Jones said the weekend was "very hectic".

"We'd take the boat out to do a job and come in and then go straight back out again.

"It was an off-shore breeze, hot day, people out to have fun on the water, but they don't realise the breeze is taking them out and they turn around and realise they are a good half-mile out."

At Conwy, a kitesurfer was reported as being blown out to sea, prompting the local inshore lifeboat to go and search, but fortunately other surfers in the area had been able to assist the person in difficulties.

'Exercise extreme caution'

Round the coast at Aberystwyth, four teenagers had to be taken off their dinghy on Friday evening when it was blown out to sea near the Glendower Hotel by a strong offshore wind.

None of them were wearing safety jackets.

The Spirit of Friendship lifeboat was launched again on Saturday afternoon for a second inflatable dinghy incident off Clarach Bay to the north of the town.

A fisherman reached the dinghy first and helped the two people on board onto his own vessel before the lifeboat reached them and helped take them back to shore.

A spokesman said: "These incidents highlight the dangers of using inflatable dinghy's in the sea, and how quickly they can be taken out to sea by an outgoing tide and offshore wind.

"I would urge users to exercise extreme caution, and ensure the dingy is securely tethered to the shore."

Meanwhile on Saturday evening Burry Port's RNLI and the coastguard responded to a report of two people cut off on sandbanks at Cefn Padrig Pwll.

The crew found two teenage boys who had walked from Llanelli Beach and thought they would be able to return, not realising the tide would cut them off.

The lifeboat took them back to the beach and handed them over to the care of Burry Port coastguards.

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