Hoylake RNLI lifeboat tasked to support container ship in danger of capsize

Lifeboats News Release

Hoylake RNLI lifeboat was tasked by the UK Coastguard at 2.44am following reports of a loaded container ship listing and in danger of capsize at the Liverpool2 Container Terminal.

Hoylake’s volunteer crew were paged in the early hours of Friday 24 May and the all-weather Shannon class lifeboat Edmund Hawthorn Micklewood launched within minutes.

The RNLI lifeboat arrived on scene in the River Mersey shortly after launching and found the 294m vessel loaded with containers and listing to starboard away from the river berth. Her 23 crew members had been evacuated safely to the shore and a number of commercial tugs were already on scene standing by. Crosby Coastguard Rescue Team were also on the quayside to offer support.

The RNLI lifeboat waited a safe distance away from the container ship while some of her crew re-boarded to assess the ship's condition and attempt to correct her list. After several hours, once the vessel was upright again, Maritime and Coastguard Agency surveyors were brought on board to check the ship for damage and confirm that she was safe and seaworthy.

Once it was confirmed by the Coastguard that the container ship was no longer at risk, Hoylake RNLI lifeboat was stood down having remained on standby to offer support for a total of 10 hours.

Hoylake RNLI Coxswain Andy Dodd said: ‘Liverpool and the River Mersey are increasingly busy with commercial traffic and this incident shows some of the significant risks that come with operations in a major port.’

‘Thanks to the efforts of the container ship’s crew, they were able to prevent the incident from becoming much more serious and ultimately save their vessel. Hoylake’s volunteer crew were glad to be of service throughout this challenging incident to provide support as needed.’

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact Dan Whiteley, Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07799 851 316 or dan_whiteley@rnli.org.uk. Alternatively, call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or email pressoffice@rnli.org.uk.

RNLI/Daniel Whiteley

Hoylake RNLI lifeboat stands by a safe distance away from the listing container ship

RNLI/Daniel Whiteley

The ship's crew had initially been evacuated to the shore

RNLI/Daniel Whiteley

The container ship began listing while loading at the Liverpool2 Container Terminal

RNLI/Daniel Whiteley

Hoylake RNLI lifeboat was stood down after the ship was made safe by her crew

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.

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 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.