First rescue for new Coxswain as Hoylake RNLI lifeboat tows yacht to safety

Lifeboats News Release

Hoylake RNLI lifeboat was requested to launch by the UK Coastguard at 11.19am on Saturday 17 July when a yacht with 4 people on board suffered engine failure. The wind had dropped and the yacht was unable to make any progress.

The 8 metre yacht had been heading to Liverpool Marina and was initially taken under tow by a commercial wind farm vessel. Hoylake RNLI’s Shannon class lifeboat Edmund Hawthorn Micklewood and her volunteer crew launched into calm and sunny conditions and headed to the casualty vessel’s location north of Talacre.

On arrival, the lifeboat crew passed a towline to the yacht and the wind farm vessel crew released their lines. Hoylake Lifeboat then began towing the casualty to Liverpool Marina, passing through the Burbo Bank Wind Farm and entering the main shipping channel of the River Mersey. After nearly 3 hours towing, the lifeboat and yacht arrived at Brunswick Lock.

Hoylake Lifeboat brought the casualty vessel through the lock and secured it on a berth in Liverpool Marina. With the casualties requiring no further assistance, Hoylake Lifeboat was stood down and returned to the lifeboat station to be made ready for service again.

This was Howie Owen’s first shout in command of Hoylake RNLI lifeboat since taking on the role of Coxswain Mechanic at the station last month.

Howie said: ‘The casualties did the right thing by raising the alarm when their yacht broke down. Our volunteer crew were glad to be able to bring them to the safety of Liverpool Marina after a long tow. Thank you to the wind farm vessel crew too for helping to secure the yacht at sea.’

‘Mechanical failure is the single biggest cause of rescue call outs to sailing and motor cruisers, making up almost 20 per cent of all RNLI lifeboat launches. If you get into difficulty at sea, always call the Coastguard on VHF Channel 16 or by dialling 999 or 112.’

Hoylake RNLI

Hoylake RNLI lifeboat towed the broken down yacht to the safety of Liverpool Marina

Hoylake RNLI

The broken down yacht was towed through the Burbo Bank Wind Farm into the River Mersey

Hoylake RNLI

Hoylake RNLI lifeboat towed the yacht into the River Mersey passing the world-famous Liverpool waterfront

RNLI/Nigel Millard

The call-out was Howie Owen's first in command of the lifeboat since becoming Hoylake RNLI Coxswain Mechanic last month

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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