Shown in the pictures is the Ferryside Lifeboat which is one of more than fifty lifeboats stationed around the British Isles that operate independently of the RNLI. They provide the same role as the RNLI and are “declared facilities” within HM Coastguard’s search and rescue organisation. Ferryside lifeboat, which is available 24 hours a day throughout the year and is staffed entirely by local volunteers, is a 6.4 metre Ribcraft semi-rigid infatable craft with twin 90hp Suzuki four stroke engines, giving a top speed of approximately 38 knots, and the ability to float in approximately 12 inches of water. The pictures show the lifeboat crew carrying out exercises on the river Tywi close to Carmarthen.
The lifeboat station at Ferryside are currently seeking funding to purchase a rescue hovercraft. The tidal range at Ferryside limits when the inshore rescue boat can be launched, and certainly limits its range of operation at low tide levels. A hovercraft would extend both range and hours of operation; allowing rapid and close access along the river banks up stream towards Carmarthen, and out across mud flats, sands and the river channel at low water.
Further information is available on http://www.ferryside-lifeboat.co.uk/