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RNLI Fleetwood lifeboat volunteer rescues child

Lifeboats News Release

Another multi-agency rescue in Fleetwood culminated in an 8-year-old child being dramatically saved by the Captain of the ‘Wyre Rose’, the Fleetwood to Knott End ferry, which almost certainly saved his life.

The incident happened after a jet ski, with the father and his two sons on board, were thrown into the River Wyre near Knott End. The father and youngest child made their own way to shore, but the elder child drifted on the river current and outgoing tide.

Tony Cowell, 2nd Cox with Fleetwood RNLI and Captain of the Wyre Rose, saw the incident unfold in front of him and rushed to the youngster’s aid. He pulled the child out of the river to safety and returned him to shore, to be reunited with his father and brother.

In the meantime, the jet ski continued out to sea along the Wyre channel and volunteers of National Coastwatch Institution (NCI), at Rossall Point, reported the unmanned vessel to HM Coastguard. Fleetwood RNLI launched the inshore lifeboat (ILB) Mary Elizabeth Barnes. The volunteer crew from Fleetwood Lifeboat were directed to the jet ski by the NCI volunteers, which by now was up near Wyre Light and it was returned to Knott End.

The children and father, from Manchester, were unharmed but obviously shaken by the incident.
Tony Cowell, who had just returned from a week’s training for the new Shannon class lifeboat at RNLI Headquarters in Poole, said, ‘ The family were having fun on their jet ski, but had failed to use the kill cord, which cuts the engine in the event of falling from the vessel.

We advise all owners of speed boats and jet skis, to use their We advise all owners of speed boats and jet skis, to use their kill cords if they are fitted. This could have ended tragically and had the engine cut out, they would have had the vessel to cling on to, until help arrived.'

RNLI Media contacts
For more information please contact Ken Harcombe, Fleetwood RNLI Volunteer Press Officer, on 07970 197195 /   Alison Levett, RNLI Public Relations Manager, North, on 07786 668912/ Or, Clare Hopps, RNLI Public Relations Officer North, on 07824 518641/

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.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland