THESE dramatic pictures show a motorboat on fire in the sea off the coast of the Vale of Glamorgan – moments after it had been abandoned. 

Fortunately the man and woman onboard were able to launch their life raft and were picked up by an ‘interceptor’ vessel which answered their distress call at around 10.35pm on Saturday night. 

The Barry Dock RNLI crew also answered the call and a paramedic from the volunteer crew transferred to the ship, that takes pilots in and out of the docks, to care for the two who had to abandon their 55 foot boat, which is nearly the same length as four average sized-cars. 

It sank after the two had been rescued. 

The Bristol Interceptor ship, which had been taking a pilot out to a ship in the channel when the may day call was made, then took them back to Barry harbour. 

Despite the frightening experience the pair, from the English Midlands who had been on a day trip along the coast from Cardiff to Porthcawl, didn’t require any further medical assistance. 

Nigel Parry, press officer for the Barry Dock Lifeboat, said: “Our crew has a paramedic on board and he was able to treat an ankle injury. 

“Fortunately due to their good planning they had a life raft and a grab bag which usually contains flares and a maybe a radio.” 

The National Wales: The motorboat shortly before it sunk. Picture: Barry Dock RNLIThe motorboat shortly before it sunk. Picture: Barry Dock RNLI

The Barry Dock RNLI crew, which met the pilot ship around 1.5 miles south of Aberthaw, said: “The two people on board had abandoned the vessel and taken to the life raft as the flames engulfed the vessel. 

“The RNLI All-weather lifeboat remained on scene with the burning vessel but unfortunately the vessel sank. 


“The volunteer crew returned to Barry harbour and prepared the lifeboat for its next service.” 

Paul Davenport, who lives in Rhoose, saw distress flares go up and raised the alarm. 

He said: “I was on the laptop facing out the garden and saw the red distress flares go up, and I realised something was wrong so called the coastguard on 999.  

“It looked near to the house, maybe only a mile or so off Fontygary Bay. The Coastguard said they were responding so I’m pleased everyone is safe as it could have been fatal, they do a fantastic job. Odd that a yacht was out there so late though, as I monitor marine traffic with an app.” 

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