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RNLI Hoylake Hovercraft launched to search for a suspected missing person.

Lifeboats News Release

On the evening of 26 March volunteers from RNLI Hoylake Lifeboat station were tasked by the UK Coastguard to participate in a joint agency search after reports were received by a member of the public concerned about a person seen walking towards the sea.

RNLI Hovercraft "Hurley Spirit" returns to Hoylake Station after a joint agency search.

RNLI/Victoria Phipps

RNLI Hovercraft "Hurley Spirit" returns to Hoylake Station after a joint agency search.

The Hoylake RNLI Lifeboat Station received a call from the UK Coastguard requesting they muster in immediate readiness, pending further information about a possible pedestrian casualty on the beach. After further discussion with the Coastguard and Police at the RNLI Lifeboat Station, Hoylake’s Hovercraft was launched at 21:28 pm.

Four Hovercraft crew volunteers scoured the tideline of the East Hoyle Bank, whilst a Police Helicopter searched overhead. Two Coastguard Rescue Teams also attended and set off white illuminating flares to increase visibility. After an extensive search of the tideline no one was found and the Coastguard and Police agreed to stand all units down at 22:25 pm.

Hovercraft Commander, Chris Williams, said ‘Praise should go to the member of the public who alerted the Coastguard to the possible missing person. It’s always better to be safe than sorry in these situations and we’re pleased to have been able to assist with the search.”

There are just four RNLI inshore rescue hovercrafts in operation across the UK. They can reach areas inaccessible to conventional lifeboats, often operating where the water is too shallow for boats and therefore extending the RNLI’s lifesaving capability around the coast.

Volunteers of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution are on standby 24 hours a day ready to fulfil their duty in search and rescue operations.

RNLI Media contacts

For more information please contact Victoria Phipps, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on: 07709 391253.

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 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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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