Two teams comprising of volunteers specially trained in flooding and fast-flowing water met in St. Asaph at lunchtime yesterday (Thursday 6 December) before being deployed to assist the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, as well as other emergency services, in evacuating residents from flooded bungalows in Rhyl. The team, made up of volunteers from Rhyl, Conwy, St. Asaph and Beaumaris, then continued to search the area street by street, ensuring all residents were safely evacuated.
Extra RNLI volunteers, some having travelled up to five hours from parts of South Wales in order to join the rescue effort, arrived in Rhyl around 6pm, ensuring those volunteers who had been searching most of the day could have some much-needed food and rest.
Meanwhile, some lifeboat stations on the North coast of Wales, the East coast and in North West England were flooded as a result of the storm surge. Many of these stations sustained damage as well, which will be assessed now the weather has abated and the risk of further storm surges recedes. The attached video shows Wells-next-the-Sea Lifeboat Station and rising flood waters.
George Rawlinson, Operations Director, said: 'I am pleased to say our lifeboat stations remained operational despite the flooding and damage. Obviously, some repairs will be needed and there will be a cost implication to that. Our thoughts are with those whose lives and property have been affected during the storms and tidal surge, and thanks go out to our volunteers and the emergency services who dealt with and assisted people during some very challenging conditions indeed.'
Attached video and stills show members of the Flood Rescue Team evacuating residents from flooded homes in Rhyl. Please credit RNLI.
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Notes to editors
• The RNLI Flood Rescue team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to deploy to flooding events in the UK, Ireland and abroad to perform search and rescue. The team comprises of lifeboat crews from all around the RNLI, who have been specially trained for the risks involved when working in or around fast moving flood water.
• Toolstation, Britain’s leading tool supply company, is supporting the RNLI Flood Rescue Team.
• As a charitable organisation that receives no Government funding, the RNLI relies on donations from members of the public and also sponsorship from organisations such as Toolstation, allowing the Flood Rescue Team volunteers to go on saving lives.