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