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Distress flare sparks late night search for Hoylake and New Brighton RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Hoylake and New Brighton RNLI lifeboats were requested to launch by the UK Coastguard just after 10.00pm on Monday 6 February following multiple 999 calls reporting that a red flare had been spotted off New Brighton.

Hoylake RNLI

Hoylake RNLI lifeboat launched last night to search for a potential person or vessel in distress after the red flare sighting
Red flares, either fired as a rocket or held by hand, are widely used as a maritime distress signal and there were concerns that a person or vessel may have been in difficulty.

Hoylake’s all-weather Shannon class lifeboat Edmund Hawthorn Micklewood and New Brighton’s relief Atlantic 85 class inshore lifeboat Dylan Rotchell launched with their volunteer crews and headed to the area of the reported sighting off the Derby Pool.

The lifeboats began following search patterns coordinated by the Coastguard out to sea and in the River Mersey, using radar, searchlights and night vision to look for any potential casualties. Local Coastguard Rescue Teams also searched along the shoreline.

After the lifeboats completed several legs of their searches with no casualties located, the UK Coastguard Operations Centre concluded the search and both lifeboats were stood down.

The lifeboats returned to station to be washed down, refuelled and made ready for service again just before 3.00am.

Hoylake RNLI Coxswain Howie Owen said: ‘Both volunteer lifeboat crews carried out an extensive search at sea last night alongside Coastguard teams on the shore after the initial flare sighting. The sea conditions were calm and there was a full moon, which assisted the search.’

‘Although no casualty was located with no further reports of anyone in distress, we would always encourage anyone who sees a red flare to report it to the Coastguard immediately by dialling 999 or on VHF Channel 16.’

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact

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

Connor Wray, New Brighton Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer on 07756 553 092 or email [email protected]

Claire Elshaw, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 07468 353 082 or email [email protected]

RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789

New Brighton RNLI

New Brighton RNLI lifeboat joined the late night search after the flare was first spotted off the Derby Pool

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.