Drunk Russian sailors found stranded on Welsh island
Trio got lost in Bristol Channel as they returned from boozy night out in Barry
Three sailors from a Russia cargo ship have been rescued by lifeboat crews after getting stranded on an island in the middle of the Bristol Channel.
A “major search and rescue operation” was launched after the trio of Russian, Dutch and Philippine nationals went missing following a night out drinking in the Welsh resort of Barry, says news site Wales Online.
The men had left their Russian cargo ship moored off Minehead, in Somerset, on Wednesday in a 13ft inflatable vessel to make the 15-mile trip across the channel to the seaside town, in South Wales.
After “downing beer and vodka in the town’s pubs, they headed back at 3am in fog”, says The Sun.
But the trio quickly became lost in the poor weather conditions and unfamiliar waters - and “presumably, alcohol didn’t add any clarity to the situation”, quips The Moscow Times. With no other land in sight, they finally moored up on the virtually uninhabited island of Flat Holm.
Andy Berry, of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) in nearby Penarth, said: “They went out in Barry and tried to book accommodation there but failed to do so, so their intention was to return around 3am.
It was foggy and at some stage they realised they could not find their boat and realised it wasn’t wise to continue so they moored up on Flat Holm and the rescue was initiated.”
The men, in their 20s and 30s, were found shortly after 8am by the Penarth Lifeboat crew. There were also rescue boats from Minehead, Barry and Illfracombe out looking for them.
Berry said: “All three were very cold and one was incredibly cold so the coastguard rescue helicopter landed on Flat Holm to carry out checks. All three have been taken back to Barry so they can be medically checked over.”
Speaking from Barry Dock Lifeboat Station, the sailors said: “We are safe and we just want to thank the friendly people here.”