Lytham St Annes RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew search for fishing boats
Up to five vessels reported “missing” as sea harl descends over the Fylde Coast.
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.'
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.