LIFEBOAT crews from the Severn Area Rescue Association (SARA), along with Chepstow Coastguard, were called to assist a boat south of the M4 Prince of Wales Bridge last night.

The vessel, an 18ft long cabin cruiser, had suffered engine failure due to a flat battery and run aground on Oldbury Sands - a large sandbank in the middle of the lower estuary at about 7.30pm.

The alarm had been raised by a concerned member of the public, but those on board had ample provisions to wait until rescue arrived.

Due to the low tide, a lifeboat crew member was able to walk up to the stricken vessel to ensure those on board were ok.

With darkness falling, a second operation was launched to tow the vessel back to Beachley, fit a new battery and send it on its way down the estuary.


In a statement, SARA said: "SARA Lifeboat 3 was launched and searched for the vessel.

"Further work by the Coastguard, supported by a report from a concerned member of the public, ascertained that the casualty vessel was in fact on Oldbury Sands, so the lifeboat headed back up the Severn, past Beachley, to where Chepstow Coastguard had by this time located the vessel.

"One of our lifeboat crew was able to walk up to the boat.

"The two people on board had good provisions and were content to wait with their boat until the tide returned.

"They had suffered a battery failure which had caused the engine to stop. Our crew then recovered the lifeboat back at Beachley.

"Later in the evening, we were able to tow the casualty vessel back to Beachley.

"Here the owners fitted a new battery which they had ordered and the vessel continued on to their intended destination.

"Chepstow Coastguard observed her passage from Beachley through 'The Shoots' at the M4 Prince of Wales Bridge and Milford Haven Coastguard monitored her safe passage thereafter."