Shortly after 4:30 pm on Monday 9th August, Guernsey Coastguard received several calls from members of the public concerned about a dinghy being swept out to sea near La Valette Bathing Pools. Whilst the dinghy was clearly visible, the 2 crew were evidently struggling to paddle back to shore against the wind. Guernsey Harbours’ RHIB was launched at 4:45 pm and was on scene 9 minutes later. Both the crew and the dinghy were safely recovered to St Peter Port Harbour.
A spokesperson from Guernsey Coastguard said “Inflatables like the one involved in this incident should only be used in swimming pools and not around the coast where they can be quickly swept out to sea. The 2 crew were inexperienced and had been drinking alcohol. Anyone partaking in waterborne activities must check wind and tides and carry the right safety equipment. Alcohol and water never mix”.
Later in the evening, Guernsey Coastguard received multiple 999 calls reporting a person stranded on a rock in Cobo Bay. The person was waving his arms indicating he was in distress, so St Peter Port Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) was launched on service at 7:26 pm to head to the scene. The casualty had been part of a group swimming in the bay but had become detached after starting to struggle. Realising what was happening, 2 of the group returned to the casualty and managed to swim him back to the safety of the beach where police, paramedics, and coastguard were waiting. After confirming no one else was in difficulty, St Peter Port ILB was stood down. The casualty was examined by paramedics and taken to hospital as a precaution.