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First call out for Flint RNLI's youngest ever Helm

Lifeboats News Release

Newly qualified Helm Brian Dobson experiencing his first call out as Helm as the crew responded to an upturned vessel.

Flint RNLI lifeboat received a launch request from UK Coastguard after reports of an upturned vessel approximately 1/4 mile east of Flint lifeboat station. The call was made to the coastguard by a member of the public.

Flint RNLI lifeboat launched at Greenfield and proceeded towards Flint. Once on scene, the boat was found to be drifting with the tide and in poor condition with no persons onboard. The lifeboat then conducted a search in the immediate area and used two white para flares to illuminate the area. No persons were found. The vessel was suspected to have broken its mooring and drifted with the tide.

It was decided by the lifeboat crew and coastguard to tow the vessel to safety however when the tow was attempted the vessel was found to be unstable due its poor condition and the tow had to be abandoned. A red inflated lifejacket was attached to the vessel to help warn other river users of its position and the coordinates of the vessel were given to the UK coastguard.

Flint Lifeboat Helm Brian Dobson said:

'With the fading light and poor weather conditions, thankfully no one was in the vessel. If you ever see anyone or any vessel in trouble in the water, please do not hesitate to call 999 and ask for the coastguard'.

Notes to editors 

  • Attached is a photo of Brian Dobson, Flint RNLI's youngest Helm. Credit: RNLI/Flint
  • Flint RNLI lifeboat station was established in 1966. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to
  • Since 1966 Flint Lifeboat has launched over 700 times, saved 103 lives, and rescued a further 148 people.  
  • Flint lifeboat and its volunteers responded to 14 calls in 2018 
  • Potential lifeboat crew and fundraising volunteers, contact Alan Forrester on 07785593247 

RNLI media contacts

For more information contact Carly McCarthy and Aby Norwood Flint RNLI volunteer press officers, on [email protected] or [email protected]. Alternatively contact Eleri Roberts, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 07771 941390 or RNLI Press Office 01202 336789. 

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.