RNLI Hoylake Hovercraft assists UK Coastguard in rescue of two people and a dog

Lifeboats News Release

At 12.45pm on Monday 2nd March the UK Coastguard requested Hoylake RNLI hovercraft to launch to reports of two casualties stuck in the mud in West Kirby

RNLI Hoylake hovercraft H-005 Hurley Spirit assists UK Coastguard in West Kirby

RNLI/Hoylake Lifeboat Station

RNLI Hoylake hovercraft H-005 Hurley Spirit assists UK Coastguard in West Kirby

A lady had reportedly been walking her dog close to the Marine Lake when she got into difficulty. Seeing she was in distress, a man went to assist her and soon found himself also sinking into the mud. The UK Coastguard were alerted and RNLI Hoylake launched their hovercraft H-005 Hurley Spirit at 1:00pm to assist. The volunteer crew arrived on the scene just 9 minutes later and assessed the situation with a Coastguard Coastal Rescue Officer who was already assisting the two casualties.

Positioning the hovercraft by the jetty at West Kirby Marine Lake, the RNLI volunteers deployed mud boards to support the male casualty in the thick mud. Once he was safely recovered on board, the crew then manoeuvred the hovercraft sideways to land 12ft along and assist the lady and her dog from the mud.

With both casualties, the dog and the UK Coastguard officer all safely on board, the RNLI Hovercraft Commander decided it would be safer to recover them all to the Dee Lane slipway due to the beach conditions and orientation.

The casualties were met by the Coastguard Rescue Team where they were assessed and happily found to require no further medical attention. The Hovercraft returned to RNLI Hoylake Lifeboat Station where it was cleaned and made ready for operation again.

Volunteer RNLI Hovercraft Crew Pilot, Alistair Knowles, said; ‘The casualties got into difficulty in an area of thick mud which is common on beaches all around the Wirral coast. If you’re heading to the beach, look out for safety notices that might indicate areas of danger and if you do get stuck in mud, try to spread your weight as evenly as possible, avoid moving and stay calm.’

‘Of course we also understand that it’s a natural human instinct to want to help someone in need, but the RNLI would always recommend people don’t enter the water or mud to try to assist a person in distress. Instead dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard who will ensure trained and experienced emergency service personnel will be tasked to urgently assist.’

The RNLI has four inshore rescue hovercrafts in operation across the UK. These are designed to reach areas inaccessible to conventional lifeboats, extending the charity’s lifesaving capability around the coast.

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]. Eleri Roberts, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 07771941390 or email [email protected]. Alternatively, call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or email [email protected].

RNLI Hoylake hovercraft H-005 Hurley Spirit returns from mud rescue

RNLI/Hoylake Lifeboat Station

RNLI Hoylake hovercraft H-005 Hurley Spirit returns from mud rescue

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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