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RNLI Hoylake Hovercraft crew rescue family in difficulty off Hilbre Island

Lifeboats News Release

Hoylake RNLI’s hovercraft ‘Hurley Spirit’, was requested to launch by the UK Coastguard on the afternoon of Thursday 26 August.

RNLI Hoylake Hovercraft crew carry out local rescue

RNLI/Hoylake Lifeboat Station

RNLI Hoylake Hovercraft crew carry out local rescue

At 16:31 the RNLI volunteer crew launched the Hovercraft following reports of people in difficulty in the water, having been swept out by the outgoing tide around Hilbre. The Hovercraft made best speed to the casualties reported location.

A volunteer member of RNLI Hoylake’s crew happened to be at Hilbre Island at the time and, along with other members of the public who had raised the alarm, was able to help direct the Hovercraft. The casualties had been assisted ashore by the time of arrival and were in the care of West Kirby Lifeguards.

The principal casualty was reported as breathing but unconscious, having ingested sea water. The other four family members were alert, but cold and suffering from shock. The adult male was taken aboard the Hovercraft in a stretcher along with the adult female and three children.

On route back to the RNLI Lifeboat Station the crew met with Coastguard Helicopter Rescue 936 on the beach where a paramedic was winched down to the Hovercraft to give emergency care to the man. Subsequently they were all flown back to Hoylake Lifeboat Station where an Ambulance was waiting.

The casualty regained consciousness whilst in the Lifeboat Station and was medically assessed by the paramedics before being transported to hospital. The remaining family members were kept warm and taken into the crew room to be checked over by the Ambulance Service before leaving the station.

Reflecting on the rescue Hoylake RNLI Mechanic, Harry Jones, said “It’s great to be involved in a shout with such a happy outcome. Time can mean the difference between life and death in these sorts of situations and we’d like to remind everyone that if they see somebody in difficulty in the water to call 999 without delay and ask for the Coastguard.”

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 Deputy 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.