Busy Tuesday for Barrow RNLI
Volunteer crew from the RNLI’s Barrow Lifeboat Station launched their all-weather lifeboat early this morning to assist a yacht off the south end of Walney Island.
Crew pagers were activated at 1-10am on Tuesday following a request for assistance from the regional HM Coastguard base in Holyhead. The information received was that a 30-foot (9-metre) yacht on passage from Whitehaven to Barrow with one person on board had run out of fuel and was aground off Hilpsford Point, southwest of Walney Lighthouse.
The Barrow all-weather lifeboat, ‘Grace Dixon’, was launched at 1-45am under the command of Coxswain Shaun Charnley and four crew. Low tide had occurred just after midnight which meant that the lifeboat had to stand by until there was sufficient water depth available before it could approach the casualty vessel. It wasn’t until 3-30am that the yacht was able to be taken under tow and secured to a mooring off Roa Island. With the casualty safe, the lifeboat was then requested to assist a 32-foot (10-metre) yacht, with two people on board, that was dragging its anchor in the fresh easterly breeze off Piel Island. The ‘Grace Dixon’ proceeded across Walney Channel where it was able to take the yacht under tow and secure it to a safe mooring close to the Island.
The lifeboat returned to the Boathouse at 5-30am where it was rehoused and made ready for the next launch.
Then at 5-40pm this afternoon, the crew was paged again by HM Coastguard. The request this time was to assist the emergency services in searching the shoreline in the vicinity of Roa Island as part of an ongoing investigation. The inshore lifeboat ‘Vision of Tamworth’ was launched with Jonny Long at the helm assisted by Mike Harris and Saul Tomlin. The lifeboat was stood down at 8-45pm whereupon it returned to the boathouse.
The weather during the early morning incidents was cloudy, and the wind was easterly, Force 4. The high tides during the day had occurred at 5-44am and 6-23pm with predicted heights of 7.0 and 6.8 metres respectively.
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.