Morecambe RNLI hovercraft crew assist in rescue of a stranded porpoise

Lifeboats News Release

After a request from the coastguard, Morecambe’s RNLI volunteer inshore rescue hovercraft crew go to the assistance of a stranded porpoise in Morecambe Bay.

At 3.40pm on Saturday 26 May 2018, Morecambe RNLI’s volunteer inshore rescue hovercraft crew were tasked to assist Arnside coastguard and the British Divers Marine Life Rescue to help transport a stranded porpoise out to sea.

The porpoise had become stranded near the Arnside Coastguard Building, about 25 metres from the shoreline. A member of the public called the British Marine Life Rescue 24 hour helpline to report the distressed porpoise.

The Coastguard team members, British Divers Marine Life Rescue members and the RNLI crew worked closely together to ensure the porpoise did not become overheated and further distressed. It was decided to use a basket stretcher to lift the porpoise on to the RNLI inshore rescue hovercraft and transport it to deep water near Throbshore Point, Heysham, to release the porpoise safely and successfully back to sea.

Morecambe RNLI volunteer Hovercraft Commander, Andrew Wright, said: "This was quite a difficult rescue operation due to the strong wind conditions. Morecambe’s volunteer lifeboat crews will always assist other emergency services and in this case it was a great team effort by all concerned, which resulted in a very successfully outcome. It was a great feeling watching the porpoise swim back out to sea."

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone or email Colin Midwinter, RNLI Morecambe Lifeboat Press Officer on 07885 772820 or contact Mark Bateson, RNLI Morecambe Assistant Lifeboat Press Officer on 07791 496685 or contact the RNLI Public Relations Department on 01202 336789.

The porpoise is released back into the sea

RNLI/Jon Keighren

Left to right: RLNI volunteer crew members Antony Smith and Conor McIntyre and from British Divers Marine Life Rescue Sara Neill and Marisol Collins releasing the porpoise safely back to sea

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