West Kirby RNLI called out to search for swimmer

Lifeboats News Release

West Kirby RNLI were called out to search West Kirby moorings for a suspected missing swimmer this afternoon (Thursday 6 August).

A concerned member of the public contacted HM Coastguard after spotting a swimmer 300m off the shoreline at Macdona Drive on a turning tide.

The Coastguard requested the volunteer crew of West Kirby RNLI to launch their inshore lifeboat at 3.07pm and to search the area surrounding the moorings.

Helmed by Jono Dodd and with crew members Adie Gregan and Chris Gatenby onboard, the inshore lifeboat commenced a search of the area.

A swimmer wearing a wetsuit and goggles was spotted exiting the water on the beach by Cubbins Green. The crew in the Haggluud BV, the tractor used to launch and retrieve the lifeboat, crossed to the beach from where the initial phone call had been made. Mike Warburton, the driver, and Joe Hughes-Jones, the banks man, spoke to the individual who had raised the alarm with HM Coastguard and they confirmed that the swimmer had returned safety to dry land. An additional swimmer had also been spotted and they too had safely reached the shoreline.

Speaking following the call out, Richard Diamond, West Kirby RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘We would like to commend the member of the public who raised the alarm this afternoon and wish the swimmers well.

‘Beach safety is vitally important, particularly at this time of year when people are keen to go out and enjoy water sports. Open water has specific risks especially here on an ebbing tide. It is important that people pay attention to their surroundings and check weather and tide times, as well as being properly equipped before heading out.

‘We would encourage swimmers to swim between the red and yellow flags on a lifeguarded beach. If you cannot make it to a lifeguarded beach, learn more about your chosen beach before you go and read local hazard signs. Never swim alone. If you see someone in trouble, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard. Consider wearing a wetsuit and bright coloured cap for longer swims. Always swim parallel to the shore and not straight out. Cold water and currents can tire you out quickly and make it harder to return to shore.’

Ends

Note to Editor

  • West Kirby Sea lifeboat station has been operating since 1966. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to www.rnli.org.uk.

· The Haggluud BV206 is an All Terrain Vehicle designed to be used in locations with soft mud that is the ‘tractor’ used to launch and retrieve West Kirby RNLI’s lifeboat, ‘Seahorse’. It is the only one of its kind now in use across all RNLI stations.

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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.

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RNLI/Vicky Gaskin

RNLI/Vicky Gaskin

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.

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.

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