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Lytham St Annes RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew search for fishing boats

Lifeboats News Release

Up to five vessels reported “missing” as sea harl descends over the Fylde Coast.

Crew clean and refuel the Lytham St Annes Lifeboat after her return from a search for missing boats

RNLI/David Forshaw

Lytham St Annes Lifeboat returns after searching for missing boats

Her Majesty’s Coastguard requested the Lytham St Annes Mersey class All-weather Lifeboat Her Majesty the Queen to launch to search when up to five boats were reported to be caught out at sea and unsure of their positions in fog off the Fylde Coast on Wednesday evening (24th May). This number was later revised to three as more information came in to the Coastguard.

The Blackpool Atlantic class lifeboat at sea on exercise found a 5 metre (16 foot) angling boat and escorted it in to the beach. A short lasting thinning of the fog allowed a second angling boat to get its bearings and it was seen heading at speed northwards to land unaided safely at Starr Gate.

With a reported 5.5m (17 foot) fishing boat with three people on board still unaccounted for, the Lytham Lifeboat, with Deputy 2nd Coxswain Nick Glassbrook in command, searched the mouth of the Ribble in now thickening fog which reduced visibility at times to around 30 feet. After a thorough search of the area around Gut Buoy and the entrance to the river the lifeboat could confirm that no other vessel was still at sea and returned to her boathouse at 10.20pm to be washed off, refuelled and made ready for service again.

Deputy 2nd Coxswain Nick Glassbrook said, 'The Mersey class lifeboat with all her sophisticated electronic equipment allowed a large area to be quickly searched to ensure nobody else was in trouble. The fog had been forecast for the evening but it came in patchily at first before rapidly becoming denser as darkness approached. It was necessary to be sure everyone was safe and ashore.'

The small tractor used to carry Shore Crew and equipment is being washed off after helping to recover the Lifeboat after the service to missing boats

RNLI/David Forshaw

The Lytham St Annes Lifeboat Station's Shore Crew tractor

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