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Two shouts in one morning for Hoylake RNLI volunteers

Lifeboats News Release

Both Hoylake RNLI’s lifesaving vessels; the Shannon Class Lifeboat ‘Edmund Hawthorn Micklewood’ and hovercraft ‘Hurley Spirit’, were requested to launch by the UK Coastguard on the morning of Saturday 5 December.

RNLI Hoylake lifeboat ‘Edmund Hawthorn Micklewood’ launches after a personal locator beacon (PLB) alert was triggered.

MS Photographic

RNLI Hoylake lifeboat ‘Edmund Hawthorn Micklewood’ launches after a personal locator beacon (PLB) alert was triggered.

At 6:58am volunteers mustered at Hoylake Lifeboat Station and swiftly prepared the All Weather Lifeboat to launch after a personal locator beacon (PLB) alert was triggered. The PLB was indicating its initial position was off Stanley Park in Liverpool with a radius probability of 13 miles.

Once launched they headed to the Liverpool waterfront, maintaining a listening watch on the PLB’s transmitting frequency. RNLI New Brighton Lifeboat, Wirral Coastguard Rescue Team and the Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Caernarfon were also tasked.

Hoylake Lifeboat arrived on scene in the River Mersey and carried out a search off the Liverpool waterfront. The Coastguard helicopter, which was searching from the air, reported a hit on the beacon in the Canada Dock area and Wirral Coastguard were asked to search vessels in that area. New Brighton Lifeboat was also asked to check on a windfarm vessel in the river that had sailed from the dock earlier in the morning.

The helicopter crew confirmed a further two hits from a vessel in the dock area with a 99% probability of position. The helicopter was stood down and although the Hoylake and New Brighton RNLI lifeboats continued searching for over an hour and a half, no further signals from the beacon were detected. The Coastguard later concluded the search and all assets were stood down.

Just a short while later at 10:48am, Hoylake RNLI hovercraft was requested to launch by the UK Coastguard following reports that two people and one dog were in danger of being cut off by the incoming tide in Leasowe Bay. Wirral Coastguard Rescue Team was also tasked.

The hovercraft and her volunteer crew launched and headed to the scene and were stood down en route as the casualties had made it ashore safely. The hovercraft returned to station to be washed down, refuelled and made ready for service again.

Reflecting on a busy morning for the Hoylake RNLI crew, Coxswain of the Shannon Class Lifeboat, Andy Dodd, said “Our volunteers are always ready to drop what they’re doing and answer the call when a lifeboat is tasked to assist a potential casualty in the water and today was no exception.”

We were pleased to be working together with other agencies and RNLI lifeboats in an effort to locate the PLB in question. The RNLI advises owners of such distress beacons to please ensure that they are registered with the Coastguard to help them quickly identify and contact you in an emergency.”

Volunteers of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution are on standby 24 hours a day ready to fulfil their duty in search and rescue operations.

Notes to editors

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Victoria Phipps, RNLI Hoylake Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07709 391 253 or email [email protected]. Danielle Rush, RNLI Regional Media Manager on 07786 668 829 or email [email protected]. Alternatively, call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or email [email protected].

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.