Fleetwood RNLI trainees involved in major search

Lifeboats News Release

Fleetwood RNLI’s lunchtime training session on Saturday (21 November), was abruptly ended when HM Coastguard from Holyhead requested their help with an on-going search for a missing person off the coast at Blackpool.

View from the Shannon class lifeboat whilst out on the search, with Norbreck Castle Hotel in the background

RNLI/Fleetwood RNLI

View from the Shannon class lifeboat whilst out on the search, with Norbreck Castle Hotel in the background

The Shannon class lifeboat from Fleetwood, Kenneth James Pierpoint, was in Morecambe Bay, with trainees Alistair Fletcher on helm, Rob Baines on navigation and Brian Blundell on radar, when the call to join the search came in, working with Blackpool and Lytham lifeboats, the Coastguards from Fleetwood and Lytham, along with the Coastguard helicopter from North Wales.

The Shannon class lifeboat returned to port at 5.30pm and the crew were especially pleased to see Shore Crew, Natalie O’Sullivan and Margaret Lenihan, still in attendance, waiting to help prepare the lifeboat for the next call-out.

Coxswain Tony Cowell was impressed with how the trainees reacted to the incident.

He said:

‘As soon as the crew realised, they were on a real call-out, they started working together, helping each other and they showed the commitment and professionalism that is required of all our volunteers. The conditions weren’t ideal, but they stuck to the job until stood down by the Coastguard. It was also lovely to see our fantastic Shore Crew waiting for us on our return. We really do have a brilliant team here’.

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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