Morecambe’s volunteer lifeboat crew go to assistance of drifting fishing boat
Morecambe’s volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew launched to go to the assistance of a fishing boat with engine trouble and drifting out to sea.
At 3.15pm on Saturday 7 May 2016, Holyhead Coastguard requested the Morecambe RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew to go to the assistance of a 16ft fishing boat, with three persons on board, whose engine had failed approximately 1 ½ miles South of Heysham power station. The men on the fishing boat had informed the coastguard that they had deployed their anchor but it had failed to hold and they were drifting further out to sea, driven by the strong ebbing tide and offshore wind.
Morecambe’s volunteer crew proceeded to the area in the inshore lifeboat, by which time the casualty had drifted to a position approximately five miles South of Heysham harbour. One of the lifeboat crew transferred to the fishing boat and succeeded in starting its engine, but it continued to cut out.
Given the combined strength of the wind and receding tide, Morecambe’s RNLI volunteer helmsman, Steve Wilson, concluded that the inshore lifeboat would have insufficient fuel to tow the fishing boat and its occupants back to their launch site in Morecambe. He therefore requested the support of Fleetwood’s volunteer all weather lifeboat, which also launched and made way to the scene where, after supplying Morecambe’s inshore lifeboat with 20 litres of extra fuel, took two of the fisherman on board and proceeded to tow the stricken fishing boat to Knott End.
Meanwhile, Morecambe’s inshore lifeboat returned to Morecambe with the fishing boat’s owner on board, in order to return him to his vehicle and trailer. By this time, the tide had ebbed so low that they were unable to return to the lifeboat station and had to make a difficult beach recovery near the Grosvenor Road slipway, before returning to Station by road.
Morecambe RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Kevin Jackson, said ‘This rescue illustrates how well we can combine with our RNLI colleagues at other lifeboat stations in order to achieve a positive outcome.’
Key facts about the RNLI
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.
The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.
Learn more about the RNLI
Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries
Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.
The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland