Hoylake RNLI hovercraft assists grounded jet skis in the River Mersey

Lifeboats News Release

Hoylake RNLI hovercraft was tasked by UK Coastguard at 11.53am on Saturday 20 October to three jet skis that had run aground in the River Mersey close to the Silver Jubilee Bridge at Runcorn. One of the riders had reportedly been injured when he was thrown from his jet ski on impact.

The volunteer RNLI crew were on a training exercise when the alarm was raised so the inshore rescue hovercraft Hurley Spirit was launched quickly, before heading to the scene. On arrival the hovercraft crew assessed the casualty, who fortunately was found to be uninjured.

However, the group’s jet skis were stuck on a sandbank due to the low tide. The hovercraft brought three Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service officers from the shore to assist the hovercraft crew in manoeuvring the jet skis back into the water.

Once the casualties were safely afloat and able to make their own way ashore, the hovercraft brought the fire service officers back to land before returning to station.

Volunteer hovercraft commander Matt Pownall-Jones said:

‘The jet skiers had all the right safety equipment with them but unfortunately they were caught out by the low tide in the area. Thanks to the assistance of our emergency service colleagues, the incident was resolved swiftly and safely.’

This incident marks the 30th service that the Hoylake RNLI hovercraft has completed so far this year.

RNLI/James Whiteley

RNLI volunteers manoeuvre one of the jet skis with fire service officers

RNLI/James Whiteley

Hoylake RNLI hovercraft comes ashore by the Silver Jubilee Bridge at Runcorn

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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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