CAMPAIGNERS arguing for the retention of the New Quay all-weather lifeboat say a recent rescue highlights the need to maintain the service.

Four RNLI lifeboats from four different stations - New Quay, Abersoch, Barmouth, New and Aberystwyth - launched overnight to a mayday call 30 miles off the coast in Cardigan Bay on the evening of Sunday, September 8.

HM Coastguard received a weak mayday call from a 30-foot yacht suffering from mechanical failure in Cardigan Bay but communications were lost with the vessel before a location was provided.

As the search took place a fishing trawler located the yacht 30 miles off Cardigan Bay and was able to provide clearer information to the Coastguard. New Quay all-weather lifeboat launched at 12.35am and Barmouth and Abersoch lifeboats were both stood down.

New Quay RNLI volunteers arrived on scene and established a tow. As New Quay all-weather lifeboat made their way back to the coast, Aberystwyth RNLI volunteers were paged at 8.30am and were requested to take over the tow – over nine hours after the service call first began.

New Quay RNLI volunteers were finally able to return to station and recovered the lifeboat at 10.30am – 10 hours after the all-weather lifeboat was first paged.

A spokesperson for Ceredigion Lifeboat Campaign said the incident clearly demonstrates the need to keep an all-weather lifeboat in Ceredigion as the next nearest lifeboat (Fishguard) was dealing with a separate incident at the same time.

“This rescue was clearly beyond the capability of an Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat and New Quay was by far the nearest all-weather lifeboat to the casualty vessel,” said the spokesperson.

“The next nearest lifeboat, Fishguard, was dealing with a separate mayday incident at the same time so would not have been available to respond.

“We are pleased that the RNLI has decided to review their decision in 2021. This gives them the opportunity to consider new data such as this, which clearly supports the retention of all-weather lifeboat capability in Ceredigion.”