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Hartlepool RNLI rescue Atlantic rowing boat and crew.

Lifeboats News Release

Hartlepool RNLI volunteers were paged at 3.36pm on 25th July 2022 to assist two people on a 21ft Atlantic rowing boat that had lost its anchors during a squall whilst anchored opposite the Hartlepool RNLI all weather lifeboat and was in danger of being blown onto nearby rocks.

RNLI/Tom Collins

Hartlepool RNLI inshore lifeboat and volunteer crew alongside the rowing boat.

The inshore lifeboat‘Solihull’ launched at 3.50pm with three crew members and was alongside the casualty vessel within seconds.

Despite the difficult weather conditions a line was attached to the rowing boat and it was towed away from the rocks and then moored alongside the all weather lifeboat.

Inshore lifeboat helm Ken Hay said “The extremely windy conditions during the squall made it difficult to manoeuvre our boat but good work from my crew working with the two people on the rowing boat brought the incident to a safe conclusion.”

Sadly it was the end of a dream for Exeter couple Adam Baker and Charlie Fleury who were taking part in an Around the UK rowing challenge on the rowing boat. The 32 year olds had been at sea for 65 days after setting off from Tower Bridge in London and rowing clockwise around the UK as part of the challenge and they could not be assisted in any way but due to the circumstances they had to ask for help from the RNLI which ended there challenge.

Adam Baker said “We are devastated to unable to continue the challenge unsupported after all the planning and hard work and rowed so far but at the end of the day we are both safe and well thanks to the amazing assistance from the lifeboat crew.

We still aim to complete the route but hopefully without the drama we encountered in Hartlepool."

Sea state was described as moderate with a gusting 25-30 knot wind.


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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