Barrow RNLI Lifeboats called to undertake search off Walney Island

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteer crew from the RNLI’s Barrow station launched both their All-Weather and Inshore Lifeboats this morning, Tuesday 14th August 2018, to undertake a search of the coastline off the west side of Walney Island.

Barrow All-Weather Lifeboat, "Grace Dixon"

RNLI/Chris Clouter

Barrow All-Weather Lifeboat, "Grace Dixon"

The call for assistance came from HM Coastguard at Holyhead at 11-10am. The information received was that a member of the public had reported seeing a person or object in the water at a position west of Walney Airfield. The report also stated that the person or object was being cut off by the rising tide. Given the uncertainty of the exact location to be searched, coupled with poor visibility, it was decided to launch both lifeboats. The crew was paged and the inshore lifeboat, Vision of Tamworth, was launched first with Dave Kell and Ben Jackson on board. The all-weather lifeboat, Grace Dixon, was launched a few minutes later under the command of Shaun Charnley assisted by five crew members.

The two lifeboats made their way to the scene and commenced a search of the area. HM Coastguard used weather and tidal data to perform drift calculations and advised the Grace Dixon to maintain a baseline one mile offshore. Meanwhile, the Vision of Tamworth ran a search pattern between the shore and the Grace Dixon. An area approximately half a mile either side of the last known sighting was searched. Furness Coastguard were also in attendance and conducted a search of the shoreline. After an extensive search nothing was found, and HM Coastguard instructed the lifeboats to stand down shortly before 1-00pm.

The lifeboats returned to the Lifeboat Station where they were cleaned and made ready for the next launch.

The wind at the time of the incident was south-westerly, Force 4-5, and the high tide was due at 2-28pm with a height of 9.6 metres.

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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, in a normal year, 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.

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