Barrow RNLI Lifeboats Called to Search for Missing Swimmer
Volunteer crew from the RNLI’s Barrow Lifeboat Station launched both their lifeboats yesterday evening following reports that a swimmer was missing off the west side of Walney Island.
The call for assistance was received from the regional HM Coastguard base in Holyhead at 6-23pm. The Coastguard requested the lifeboats launch to assist in the search for the missing swimmer who was last seen in the Biggar Bank area of Walney Island.
The crew was paged and the Barrow inshore lifeboat, ‘Vision of Tamworth’, was launched at 6-32pm with Ben Jackson at the helm assisted by two crew. The all-weather lifeboat, ‘Grace Dixon’, was launched a short while later under the command of Coxswain, Shaun Charnley, and a crew of five.
The lifeboats made good time to the west side of Walney Island and upon arriving at the scene they commenced a search of the shoreline along with other resources which had also been deployed to search for the missing swimmer. However, at 7-33pm the search was teams were stood down after it was confirmed that the swimmer had been located safely ashore.
The lifeboats returned to the Boathouse shortly after 8-00pm where they were washed down, refuelled, and rehoused. The incident was closed out at 9-15pm with both boats ready for the next launch.
The incident was another great example of a multi-agency response with Furness and Millom Coastguard Units, Duddon and Ulverston Inshore Rescue Teams and Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 936 also in attendance.
The weather at the time of the incident was fine and the wind was west-north-westerly, Force 2-3. High water had passed at 5-43pm with a height of 7.9 metres.
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 over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, 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.