Fleetwood couple hope for quiet first Christmas with RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

When Mandy and Steve Moss volunteered to join the crew at Fleetwood RNLI, they gave little thought as to the impact it would have over the Christmas period. It was summer, after all !

Mandy & Steve Moss with D class lifeboat

RNLI/Kenneth Harcombe

Mandy & Steve Moss with D class lifeboat

Now, as Christmas fast approaches, the realisation that their turkey dinner may be interrupted, is sinking in.

Christmas is a busy time for everybody, but with training nights on Tuesday’s and being ready to drop everything, if there’s a request to launch, suddenly a lot more has to be fitted in, between the shopping and present wrapping.

Mandy said ‘. We just don’t know when we’ll be called upon and we’ve warned our family that Christmas may never be the same again. But they’ve all been so supportive a fully appreciate our commitment.

As the festive season approaches, the RNLI in the north west is issuing its own call for help. The charity is facing a Perfect Storm, with more people drowning and a shortfall in funds, meaning support from the public is more vital than ever.

RNLI volunteers in Cumbria and Lancashire are ready to down their pagers whatever day of the year. 27 December 2006 is a day forever etched on the minds of the RNLI crews at Fleetwood, Lytham and Barrow.

A helicopter, carrying five rig workers and two pilots, crashed 20 miles from Cleveleys in the Irish Sea. The RNLI volunteers launched lifeboats from Fleetwood, Lytham and Barrow, to search for the casualties. Despite the volunteers being at sea for 22 hours, in challenging conditions, there were no survivors found from the crash. All had perished.

Fleetwood RNLI Coxswain, Tony Cowell said ‘Christmas is just another day. If there’s a called out, it’s what we do, it’s what we’ve trained for. Mandy and Steve, along with the other volunteers here, have made a massive commitment and we are so lucky to have the local community support us.

But we are rescuing more people than ever before and facing a shortfall in funds. We are facing the Perfect Storm. We can’t do it without the support of the public and we are calling on people to make a donation to the RNLI this Christmas, to ensure we can continue to save lives at sea.

The Tyne class lifeboat, William Street, which was in service in 2006

RNLI/Kenneth Harcombe

The Tyne class lifeboat, William Street, which was in service in 2006

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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.