Troubled yacht is the first call out for RNLI New Brighton lifeboat crew member

Lifeboats News Release

Lucy Shaw joined the lifeboat volunteers on her first call out as RNLI crew when the team launched to aid a yacht with engine failure on the River Mersey. Tasked by UK Coastguard at 4.31pm on Monday 24 June, the RNLI lifeboat towed the vessel to Liverpool Marina.

Mike and Lucy stand side by side in front of the lifeboat on its carriage

RNLI/Paul Ambrose

Lucy with RNLI Station Mechanic Mike Jones on her return from the call out

One of five female volunteer crew at the RNLI New Brighton and also an RNLI lifeguard, Lucy’s first call out came after eight months of training and just as she stepped through the door after a day at Liverpool John Moore University.

Lucy, who is studying for a degree in geology, said: Although I felt the adrenalin that comes when the pager goes off, it really focuses you too.

‘Heading out on regular exercises means that when needed as today, the training kicks in and everyone knows what to do. It’s great to be part of such a tight team and ultimately, helping people out of trouble is a difficult feeling to beat.’

The yacht, carrying two people and two dogs, was drifting in the main shipping channel of the River Mersey between Pier Head and 12 Quays Ferry Terminal.

RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Ian Thornton said: ‘On the scene, the yacht’s crew were making every effort to start the engine but our lifeboat volunteers needed to get them out of the shipping channel and out of harm’s way.

‘Mechanical failure can happen to anyone at any time. We were on the scene quickly and able to tow the vessel to the safety of Liverpool Marina.’

The RNLI advises that sailors ensure before setting out, that someone knows where they are going and when they will be back, that they have a means of calling for help everyone knows how to use, as well as wearing the all-important lifejackets.

The volunteer crew delivered the sailing vessel to the marina at 5.38pm before returning to the boathouse and preparing inshore lifeboat Norma Ethel Vinall for service.

The tide was at high water on a warm and sunny day, with a seven-knot north-westerly wind.

The lifeboat is reversing into the carriage with the tractor ready to tow from the water

RNLI/Paul Ambrose

RNLI inshore lifeboat returning from towing the drifting yacht to Liverpool Marina

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.