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Two RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews combine to help speedboat to safety.

Lifeboats News Release

A cabin cruiser with three males on board issued a 'Mayday' call on their radio after their vessel lost all engine power just to the East of the Rhyl Flats windfarm.

Both the charity's Rhyl and Hoylake RNLI volunteer crews were involved in the rescue of three persons and their 24ft motor powerboat at 5.45pm on Saturday 29 September 2018.

Having launched from Widnes, Cheshire, in the morning, the powerboat later suffered engine failure off the coast of Rhyl and started drifting into the Gwynt-Y-Mor windfarm area. The crew were unable to anchor due to the proximity of the turbines and were concerned they might foul the subsea cables.

The skipper contacted UK Coastguard at Holyhead and issued a ‘Mayday’ message on the boat’s radio. Holyhead Coastguard immediately paged RNLI Rhyl Lifeboat Station and requested they launch the relief Mersey-class all-weather lifeboat ‘The Lincolnshire Poacher’ to go to the vessel’s aid.

The RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew located the boat about three miles northwest of Rhyl. The casualties were tired, but well. After a brief discussion between all parties it was agreed for Rhyl lifeboat to tow the vessel towards the entrance to the river Mersey at Liverpool. After a further discussion between the casualty, the coastguard and the crew on Rhyl lifeboat, it was agreed to request Hoylake lifeboat to assist to take the boat into the River Mersey. At 7:09pm UK Coastguard requested that RNLI Hoylake’s Shannon-class all-weather lifeboat ‘Edmund Hawthorn Micklewood' be launched to take over the tow. The hand over took place 7 miles northwest of Hoylake, where a member of Hoylake’s volunteer crew went aboard the powerboat to assist the casualties.

Hoylake lifeboat then continued the tow a further 19 miles, bringing the casualties to a safe mooring at Tranmere in the River Mersey. Rhyl lifeboat was returned to station by 9.20pm that evening and Hoylake lifeboat returned at 00.30am on the Sunday morning, where it was ready for service again at 1:00am.

Paul Frost, duty coxswain on RNLI Rhyl Lifeboat said ‘The men on the boat were all properly equipped and did the right thing by contacting the coastguard with their VHF radio. Both lifeboats contributed to successfully getting the casualties and their vessel to a safe harbour’.

The attached photos show the tracks of Rhyl and Hoylake lifeboats, also photos taken by Rhyl and Hoylake crews of the service. Many thanks to Hoylake crew for permission to use the photos.

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

service 29/9/2018. Joint service with Rhyl and Hoylake lifeboats.

RNLI/Paul Frost MBE

Rhyl RNLI lifeboat crew and cabin cruiser in tow
service 29/9/2018. Joint service with Rhyl and Hoylake lifeboats.

RNLI/Hoylake crew

Hoylake RNLI lifeboat and cabin cruiser at Tranmere moorings
service 29/9/2018. Joint service with Rhyl and Hoylake lifeboats.

RNLI/Paul Frost MBE

Rhyl RNLI lifeboat track courtesy of Sailboat book app
service 29/9/2018. Joint service with Rhyl and Hoylake lifeboats.

RNLI/Paul Frost MBE

Hoylake RNLI track courtesy of Marine Traffic app

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland