Blackpool RNLI volunteers diverted from training to help boats lost in fog
Blackpool RNLI volunteers were coming to the end of a training exercise on Wednesday evening when they were tasked to an emergency. The occupants of a 16’ angling boat contacted the Coastguard because they were lost in the fog near the entrance to the River Ribble and were unable to reach safety.
The volunteer crew of Blackpool’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat William and Eleanor immediately headed for the River Ribble and started to search the area using the lifeboat’s state of the art radar and direction finding equipment. They found the angling boat a short time later and escorted the vessel to Star Gate where the occupants were able to bring the boat ashore safely.
While the angling boat was being recovered a second boat contacted the Coastguard, they had also become disorientated in the fog and were having some engine problems. The Atlantic 85 lifeboat conducted its second search of the evening and found the casualty about one mile South West of Star Gate. The volunteer lifeboat crew escorted the boat back to safety at Star Gate.
Lytham RNLI lifeboat also launched after the Coastguard received reports that a third boat could be experiencing difficulties as a result of poor visibility, fortunately Lytham RNLI volunteers were able to establish that no other vessels were in difficulty.
Volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager Keith Horrocks MBE said ‘tonight’s incidents show how important it is for boats to carry a reliable means of contacting the Coastguard in case of an emergency. We would also recommend that all boat users wear lifejackets and tell someone where they’re going and when they intend to return. These simple steps can make all the difference in an emergency.’
RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Esther Lowe Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, RNLI Blackpool on 01253 508603 or 07917091948. Alternatively please contact Alison Levett, RNLI Public Relations Manager, North, on 07786 668912.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.