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Man rescued after attempting to swim around Mumbles lighthouse island

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: June 16, 2014

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A MAN was found clinging to rocks by a lifeboat crew after he tried to swim around Mumbles lighthouse island.

He was pulled from the water "cold and tired" by members of the inshore crew.

They said had a member of the public not spotted him and raised the alarm he could well have lost his life.

The incident was one of several which made for a very busy weekend for lifeboat crews and coastguards on Gower. Yesterday a young girl was airlifted from Rhossili Beach with a damaged ankle.

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The crew of volunteers on the Mumbles Lifeboat, made up of Andy Miles, Adam Evans and Dai Thomas, was scrambled at around 7.30pm on Friday evening after receiving a report that a man had been spotted clinging to rocks off the middle island. The man, who has not been named, is believed to have been a tourist.

A spokesman for Mumbles RNLI said: "We have had a few call outs because people have got stuck on the island but this is the first time we have had someone try to swim and get stuck in the water. Fortunately for him there was someone on the beach, near the pier, who saw him and called it in, if they hadn't then he would have been gone.

"It was a dangerous thing to do, especially at this time of year because we have a spring tide and the current runs at about four knots between the shore and the island.

"It may only look like a couple of hundred meters but you are swimming against the tide. He was lucky, another couple of hours and it would have been dark."

The RNLI crew were able to pull the swimmer into their rescue boat and although he was "very cold and tired" he was able to return to his hotel once transferred safely back to land.

Mumbles RNLI said it had been "the busiest weekend we have had this year".

The spokesman added: "It's so hot at the moment people go in the water and they don't realise how cold it is and they get into trouble.

"Our advice if you want to go for a swim would be to swim on a beach with a lifeguard, if there isn't one there, and you don't know the beach, then don't swim."

Completely staffed by volunteers and funded by donations, Mumbles RNLI launched a second time on the weekend following a distress call linked to the lighthouse island which fortunately turned out to be a false alarm.

"We thought that someone had become trapped on the island but it turned out they were there fishing," the spokesman explained.

Besides the RNLI the RAF helicopter was busy airlifting a six-year-old girl to Morriston hospital, from Rhossili beach, at around 3.45pm yesterday after she injured her ankle.

Elsewhere Mumbles RNLI launched its new Tamar lifeboat to tow a boat with engine trouble into harbour.

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15 comments

  • nikobelic  |  June 21 2014, 10:49PM

    Well how the hell are they supposed to get a ambulance down on to the beach?how do you know that her leg could have been hanging on by a thread???

  • Angry_dunvant  |  June 21 2014, 10:28PM

    Girl airlifted to hospital because she hurt her ankle, well that makes the air amulance worth every penny! Incidents like this mis-use of the air ambulance, has stopped me continueing to donate to the cause every month, about time turn-out were evaluated!

    |   1
  • nikobelic  |  June 17 2014, 9:20PM

    No its not his fault.Hes a tourist and doesn't know how bad that tide can catch you out.I know people that have been fishing down worms head for years and know the place well but last year got caught by the tide for the first time in their lives because the tide came in so quick.I suppose that's their fault to is it?The distance from shore to lighthouse isn't that far.

  • hacker_jack  |  June 17 2014, 9:01AM

    nikobelic, yes it IS his fault he got stranded. He wan't just swimming, he chose to swim against the tide a long way from shore, there was absolutely no reason for him to be doing that other than for the sake of it, he could have swam the same distance along the shore and never got into a bit of bother at all. Not knowing the area is no excuse and if anything should have been an indicator for him to take less risks.

    |   1
  • hacker_jack  |  June 17 2014, 8:58AM

    We should all stop crossing roads... --------------- Sorry lumpy but if you can't see the difference then you certainly shouldn't be making your own decisions. Trying to swim around that is not like crossing a normal road, it's more like taking your chances running the lanes of the M4.

    |   2
  • nikobelic  |  June 16 2014, 10:58PM

    Trust dai chotomy to spot a spelling mistake and im quite surprised scroggins didn't spot it.Unlucky to the tourist who was swimming and got stranded,maybe next time you wont need the help of the lifeboat.I don't see how billing this man will help that's just a load of rubbish,are you saying that this man should not have been swimming then?its up yo the tourist if he wants to or not.Its not his fault he got stranded,obviously if hes a tourist he wouldn't know how bad it can be round the lighthouse.God sake give this man a break all of you who are saying hes a idiot and should be billed.Complete and utter nonsense!!!!!

  • lumpy73  |  June 16 2014, 9:26PM

    We should all stop crossing roads should an accident spoil the day of the ambulance service and no more driving in case a crash ruins the what the police had planned! ...less hyperbole people, in life we take risks, some pay off, some are Ill advised but better to be a risk taker than a couch sloth with no life at all! Just saying. He should have waited til August when the waters round mumbles are slightly warmer! ;-)

    |   -3
  • theparcel  |  June 16 2014, 4:48PM

    There's always some wally tourist!

    |   7
  • Dai_Chotomy  |  June 16 2014, 3:05PM

    If they do use predictive text they must have a wonderful time with Llangyfelach!

    |   4
  • Zoomer  |  June 16 2014, 2:57PM

    Dai_Chotomy Someone once told me that the EP's word processors work on a " predictive stories" program. The reporter only has to type the first word or two, and the processor does the rest. I believe it's an American program, hence meters.

    |   -1

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