Lifeboat Volunteers search for missing man
Lytham St Annes Lifeboat and a Coastguard Helicopter join forces to search off Blackpool for a man reported swept into the sea
A member of the public called the Coastguard when a man was seen on the beach at Blackpool opposite St Chads Road with the tide approaching high water. The sea was rough and it was thought the man was pulled into the sea by a large wave. The Coastguard (Holyhead Marine Rescue Sub-Centre - MRSC) immediately alerted the local Coastguard Stations at Lytham St Annes and Fleetwood as well as a Coastguard helicopter Rescue 936 from Caernarfon to search the shoreline. Lytham St Annes all-weather Shannon class lifeboat Barbara Anne was also requested to launch to search the sea close inshore at Blackpool where the man was last seen
The RNLI lifeboat Barbara Anne was on her way at 11.50pm with Coxswain Tom Stuart in command. A thorough search of the area between and under South, Central and North Piers was conducted in seas that was at times very rough, the Shannon class lifeboat being ideally suited for close inshore work alongside the piers. Sadly nobody was found. The Coastguard helicopter returned to base when its fuel started to run low and the Lytham St Annes lifeboat volunteers carried on until the search was called off at 3.05am as the lifeboat finished the final leg of the comprehensive search for the man.
The Barbara Anne returned to the beach to land opposite the Thursby Home and was recovered onto her carriage before being transported back to her boathouse. The lifeboat was then washed off, checked and refuelled by 5am (12 January) before the RNLI volunteers could leave for their homes.
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.