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Walkers rescued from mud by Hoylake RNLI and emergency services on Wirral coast

Lifeboats News Release

Two walkers were rescued from mud on the Wirral coast today by Hoylake RNLI volunteers and other emergency services in a multi-agency incident.

Hoylake RNLI hovercraft was requested to launch by the UK Coastguard at 12.47pm on Monday 1 February to reports of two people stuck in mud near to Sally’s Cottage on Thurstaston Beach.

Hoylake RNLI’s volunteer crew launched their Inshore Rescue Hovercraft Hurley Spirit before quickly heading to the scene. Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and Crosby, Flint and Wirral Coastguard Rescue Teams had also been tasked and officers were on scene, where the casualties were stuck in mud up to their waists at the base of a cliff.

The location was particularly hazardous following a recent landslide and with the tide flooding, the casualties had to be freed quickly before water covered the area. The Hoylake RNLI crew and other emergency services worked together to free the first casualty within minutes, who was brought on board the hovercraft. The second casualty, who had injured their leg, then had to be carefully dug out by hand but was eventually extracted and brought on board the hovercraft using the Coastguard’s sled.

The casualties, accompanied by two firefighters, were flown ashore to Dee Sailing Club slipway and were passed to the care of the North West Ambulance Service.

The hovercraft then returned to the scene to collect the rescue equipment and two Coastguard officers. With the incident safely concluded, the RNLI hovercraft and her crew returned to the lifeboat station to be washed down, refuelled and made ready for service again.

Hoylake RNLI volunteer hovercraft commander Matt Pownall-Jones said: ‘This incident was time critical given the difficult terrain and the flooding tide. Through the coordinated efforts of the different emergency services, together we were able to free the casualties and bring them back to safety.’

‘Recent poor weather and coastal erosion has made this stretch of coast particularly dangerous and we advise anyone using their local coastline for exercise during lockdown to keep well away from cliffs and muddy areas. If you get into difficulty at the coast, or see someone else in difficulty, always dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact:

Dan Whiteley, Hoylake RNLI Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer on 07799 851 316 or email [email protected]

Eleri Roberts, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 07771 941 390 or email [email protected]

RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789

Hoylake RNLI

One casualty had to be dug out carefully by hand after suffering a leg injury

Hoylake RNLI

The location was particularly hazardous and muddy following a recent landslide

Hoylake RNLI

Hoylake RNLI hovercraft returned to station to be washed down by her volunteer crew after the casualties were brought to safety

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.