The volunteer RNLI crew at Trearddur Bay in the UK were recently involved in one of their most challenging rescues when a surfer got into trouble in heavy seas and strong winds, and was in danger of being smashed against the rocks.
But even after they’d got the surfer aboard their Atlantic 85 lifeboat, they still had to get back to dry land. As a normal recovery onto the trailer was not possible, they had to perform a net recovery, which involves driving the boat into the trailer on the back of a wave which is then ‘captured’ by a collapsing net.
The rescue tested the lifeboat and shore crew’s training and equipment, including their launch tractor, to the limit.
Helmsman Lee Duncan said: ‘The conditions were treacherous with a strong south westerly blowing in excess of 50mph. We had pretty much our most experienced crew on board – three helms and the lifeboat training officer – and I think in my twenty years on the crew at Trearddur Bay that was possibly the most touch and go shout I have been on.’