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BBC Wales' George Herd
"All 14 were thrown into the sea"
 real 28k

BBC Wales's Rhidian Thomas
"During 26 years of operations, this has never happened before"
 real 56k

Friday, 29 September, 2000, 18:52 GMT 19:52 UK
Passengers rescued after capsize
Thousand Islands Expedition boat
The company runs a variety of trips
An inquiry has begun after a pleasure boat with 14 people on board capsized off the coast off west Wales.

Milford Haven coastguards said the boat, a 10-metre rigid inflatable owned by Thousand Islands Expeditions, was caught in a whirlpool and overturned.

A member of the public called the emergency services at 1840BST on Thursday saying the boat - the Atlantic Eagle - had capsized in Ramsey Sound off St David's Head, Pembrokeshire.

The twelve passengers and two crew were thrown into the water, but before lifeboat crews reached the spot, all 14 people were picked up by a boat sailing with the pleasure craft.

Disappeared

St David's lifeboat escorted the rescue boat - the Storm Raven - back to the lifeboat station to assess any injuries, but no one needed hospital treatment.

The passengers were on a one-hour trip called a "white water adventure" and is advertised as "only for the brave".

The company said the accident happened after they left the white water area of Ramsey Sound.

As the Atlantic Eagle was coming back to the St Justinian's lifeboat area on the mainland, there was a sudden whirlpool which capsized the boat, said a spokesman.

The company said it has been operating for 26 years and this is its first accident. An internal investigation into the capsize incident has begun.

After the rescue, the St David's lifeboat towed the capsized vessel onto moorings at nearby Porthgain, but the boat disappeared from the mooring overnight.

A search was launched and the vessel was found floating off the coast.

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