Fleetwood RNLI in last minute bait digger rescue
The volunteers from Fleetwood RNLI were called out at 9:40am on Saturday morning to rescue a bait digger who had miscalculated one of the highest Spring tides of the year and needed rescuing urgently.
Adrian Botham from Fleetwood has been bait digging around the Fylde coast for 30 years, but had never been in difficulties before. On Saturday the high spring tides beat him and he called for help once he realised he was in trouble.
The inshore lifeboat Mary Elizabeth Barnes quickly made its way to the scene, several hundred yards from Marine Hall, Fleetwood, with only water between Adrian and the shore.
By the time the volunteer crew reached Adrian, he was chest deep in water and struggling to stay upright.
Adrian tells the story:
‘Even though the tide was flooding in, the sea wanted to take me back out. The sand was washing away from underneath me, and the current pushing me back out to sea, with massive force. I used my bait pump to anchor myself to the seabed and hung on. It was such a relief to see the lifeboat heading towards me. My life is indebted to the brave, selfless volunteers from Fleetwood RNLI’.
Helmsman and station mechanic, Daryl Randles said: ‘Adrian was sensible and experienced enough to anchor himself to the sea bed and not risk falling into a deep gully. He was obviously cold and wet when we picked him up, but he soon warmed up with a hot shower back at the station. He was very lucky in the end, the outcome could have been so different. But it does show you that even the most experienced can get into trouble. I think he was relieved when we picked him up’.
Notes to editors
· Fleetwood lifeboat station has been operating since 1859. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to: http://fleetwoodlifeboat.org.uk/
· Coxswain Tony Cowell is available for interview
· Photos of Fleetwood’s Shannon lifeboat can be viewed at: http://fleetwoodlifeboat.org.uk/
· Video footage of the rescue is available.
RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Ken Harcombe, Fleetwood RNLI Volunteer Press Officer, on 07970 197195 / email@example.com Danielle Rush, RNLI Regional Media Manager, West, on 07786 668829/ firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, Eleri Roberts, RNLI Regional Media Officer West, on 07771 941390/ Eleri_Roberts@rnli.org.uk
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.