Both lifeboats at New Quay RNLI were called out urgently on Sunday to deal with a 4m rigid inflatable boat (RIB) which was careering around in the sea off Penbryn beach with no one on board.

The D class inshore lifeboat sped quickly towards the scene, with the all-weather lifeboat in support.

The RIB was quickly located and while the inshore lifeboat crew were assessing the situation, they observed the boat straightening out and heading directly for a crowded holiday beach.

With no time to lose the lifeboat was steered alongside the RIB and another crew member leapt on board to control the vessel, thus avoiding the chance of it endangering the lives of swimmers in the water or people on the beach.

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The boat was then landed to be returned to the grateful occupant who had fallen overboard without a kill cord to switch off the engine.

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While travelling to the scene the lifeboats had encountered a boat stranded off Cwmtydu with a low fuel level. On the return journey, the all-weather lifeboat with coxswain Daniel Potter at the helm slowly accompanied the stricken craft safely to the shore, thus achieving two rescues during the one shout.

Roger Couch, lifeboat operations manager at New Quay RNLI, said: ‘These incidents demonstrate two important points which we emphasise as part of our safety at sea programme.

‘One is that people in charge of high powered craft should use their kill cords and the other is that fuel levels should always be adequate before setting out to sea.

‘With regard to the RIB, it is thanks to the skills of the inshore lifeboat’s volunteer crew that a potentially life threatening incident was averted.’