North West Wales

'Be prepared' warning after sea rescue off Gwynedd

A lifeboat manager has warned people going to sea to be better prepared after a rescue involving a man on a sea scooter.

Criccieth lifeboat saved the man after he was reported to be in difficulties off Black Rock beach at Porthmadog, Gwynedd.

He was eventually picked up 20 miles away to the south.

Peter Williams, from Criccieth lifeboat, said the operation had "cost a great deal of money".

The search was initially begun at 1800 BST on Saturday after the man got into difficulties between Mochras and Black Rock beach.

Initially nothing could be found and coastguard teams from Criccieth, Harlech and Barmouth also searched from vantage points ashore.

A lifeboat spokesman said that as the search carried on a fishing boat came across the scooter with a man from Stoke on Trent aboard.

He was two miles off Tywyn, and 20 miles south from Black Rock beach, from where he had set off.

He said that by then a rescue helicopter from RAF Valley, as well as Barmouth lifeboat, was also involved.

The scooter was then towed north by Barmouth lifeboat before Criccieth lifeboat took over and took the man and his craft back to Black Rock beach.

Peter Williams, the Criccieth lifeboat operations manager, said: "Whilst he had a mobile phone he could speak to the coastguard, but they couldn't pinpoint his position."

Mr Williams said he could have been found much quicker if he had flares or a VHF radio.

He added: "Finding him, and bringing him back safely ashore, has cost a great deal of money".

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