AM backs campaign to protect all-weather lifeboat service for Ceredigion

A local AM has backed calls for the RNLI to continue to provide all-weather lifeboat cover in Cardigan Bay.

Local campaigners are petitioning the RNLI to reverse their decision to replace their all-weather lifeboat in New Quay with a new lifeboat which cannot be launched during severe conditions.

Mid and West Wales Assembly Member Joyce Watson AM said:

“I support local campaigners who are concerned about the proposal to withdraw all-weather support between Barmouth and Swansea.

“The RNLI does a terrific job under difficult circumstances, but weather can change quickly in Cardigan Bay, and forward planning should account for the possibility that extreme weather situations may become more commonplace.

“I have asked the RNLI to confirm how long they would expect a rescue boat to come from Barmouth or Swansea under these circumstances.”

Mrs Watson has written to RNLI Chief Executive Paul Boissier to express the concern of constituents in Ceredigion about the proposed plan to replace New Quay’s all-weather Mersey-class lifeboat with the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat.

The proposed new Atlantic 85 lifeboat cannot be launched in conditions that exceed force seven in the day, and force six at night.

In her letter she said:

“There are huge concerns locally about the potential impact these changes will have on anyone needing an all-weather boat in severe conditions if the changes are implemented.”

Her letter asks for:

  • A detailed breakdown of the research which influenced the decision
  • Details of predicted response times from Barmouth in force eight conditions
  • Contingency plans if there might be an additional situation requiring a lifeboat in the Barmouth area
  • Confirmation that the Swansea lifeboat would be used under those circumstances, and an estimate of the likely times the Swansea crew would take to reach Cardigan Bay

Photo Credit: Cambrian News