Fleetwood RNLI involved in dramatic rescue

Lifeboats News Release

Scarcely had the volunteers from RNLI Fleetwood changed out of Parade uniform, after taking part in the town’s Remembrance commemorations, when HM Coastguard paged them to launch to a vessel, which had sunk off Rossall Point.

RNLI/Fleetwood RNLI

Fleetwood in-shore lifeboat, 'Mary Elizabeth Barnes'

The lifeboat crew quickly launched the all-weather Shannon class lifeboat, Kenneth James Pierpoint and the D class inshore lifeboat, Mary Elizabeth Barnes.

A small 14 foot longer fishing boat, which had launched from Knott End, got into difficulty after its anchor chain became wrapped around the propeller. The boat turned on its side and was quickly awash by the waves. The fishing boat sank in minutes, leaving the two occupants unable to fit the lifejackets they were carrying, or to raise the alarm.

Fortunately, another fishing vessel, Pisces, saw the dramatic incident and quickly raised the alarm, before heading to the sunken vessel to rescue the casualties, who were now in the water.

The volunteers at National Coastwatch at Rossall Point, confirmed the position of the sunken vessel and the Fleetwood lifeboats rushed to the scene. On arrival, the two men were on board Pisces and were transferred to the inshore lifeboat and quickly returned to port. They were met by Paramedics, because of concern for hypothermia and secondary drowning and taken to Victoria Hospital, Blackpool.

Fleetwood RNLI Coxswain, Tony Cowell said:

‘They were incredibly fortunate that Pisces saw the incident and was able to help as quickly as they did. This could have been a very different and tragic outcome. The RNLI always recommends that people wear lifejackets to give then the best possible chance of survival.'

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, 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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