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Multi-agency mud rescue for New Brighton and Hoylake RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

As a lone walker found himself waist-deep in mud on the banks of the River Alt, a coordinated multi-agency Merseyside rescue took place to free him and return him to safety.

The Hoylake RNLI Hovercraft the Hurley Spirit sits under a dusk sky on a far-stretching mud flat. The crew are gathered, two on board, two stood ashore. All are covered extensively in mud.


Hoylake RNLI Hovercraft crew post-rescue, covered in mud

On what was the second call out of the day for New Brighton and Hoylake RNLI, both Wirral volunteer crews were tasked around 3pm on Tuesday 28 February by Holyhead Coastguard, alongside units from Crosby Coastguard Rescue Team (CRT), Wirral Coastguard Rescue Team (CRT), Mersey Fire & Rescue and Northwest Ambulance’s Hazardous Area Response Team (HART), to a person who had become half-submerged in deep mud, just offshore from Blundellsands Sailing Club.

The initial tasking from Holyhead was for Hoylake RNLI’s hovercraft, the Hurley Spirit. New Brighton’s Atlantic-85 lifeboat, the Charles Dibdin was requested to launch by Crosby CRT once on scene, when it became clear that a flooding tide into the River Alt would make accessing the casualty difficult without further assistance.

New Brighton’s crew were first to reach the casualty. Once on scene, two crew members from Coastguard Rescue Teams, as well as a HART paramedic, two crew from Mersey Fire & Rescue, and all necessary equipment, were transferred across the river in the lifeboat, from the sailing club slipway to the bank where the casualty was in difficulty.

New Brighton RNLI crew, Crosby CRT and Mersey Fire began to dig out the casualty whilst he was assessed for injuries, when Hoylake’s hovercraft arrived on scene to provide crucial assistance with the rescue effort. With all units working efficiently and professionally, the casualty was able to be extracted from the mud and recovered to Hoylake RNLI’s hovercraft on a Coastguard rescue sled.

The casualty, accompanied by the HART paramedic, was then transferred by Hoylake RNLI to an awaiting ambulance at Crosby Coastguard station nearby. Meanwhile, New Brighton RNLI recovered the agency workers who had been operating on scene, as well as their equipment, and returned them to the slipway at the Sailing Club.

New Brighton RNLI helm, Mike Stannard, said:

‘This was a very well-executed rescue between the various assets that we are fortunate to be able to call on across Merseyside. The communication between the teams was fantastic, and resulted in the safe rescue of a man who otherwise might have been in significant danger on a rising tide. It might take a little while to get the mud off!’

Hoylake RNLI Coxswain Howie Owen added: ‘Dangerous muddy areas feature all around our region's coast. If you ever get stuck in mud, try to spread your weight as evenly as possible across the surface. Avoid moving, stay as calm as you can, and discourage other people from trying to rescue you before the emergency services arrive as they may become stuck too.’

If you are out walking near the coast, always be wary of mud. Always carry a means of communication and, should you encounter difficulty yourself or observe others, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Notes to Editors:

New Brighton RNLI was established in 1863 in the bustling seaside resort of New Brighton, on the north east corner of the Wirral peninsula. They cover the River Mersey and out into the Irish Sea.

The station is home to a B-class Atlantic 85 lifeboat, one of the fastest in the RNLI fleet. The crews at New Brighton have been presented with a remarkable 48 awards for gallantry to date.

Hoylake Lifeboat Station was founded in 1803 and is one of the oldest lifeboat stations in the UK. It operates the Shannon class all-weather lifeboat Edmund Hawthorn Micklewood and Inshore Rescue Hovercraft Hurley Spirit. The station covers Liverpool Bay out into the Irish Sea, the River Mersey and the River Dee.

RNLI Media Contacts:

Connor Wray – Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer


[email protected]

Lauren Francom – Lifeboat Press Officer


[email protected]

Dan Whiteley – Hoylake Lifeboat Press Officer


[email protected]

RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789

New Brighton RNLI's Atlantic-85 the Charles Dibdin's bow, and some of the consoles, can be seen in the bottom half of the frame. The top half shows the mouth of the River Alt and a gloomy dusk sky above. The boat is covered extensively in mud.

RNLI/Connor Wray

New Brighton RNLI's Atlantic-85 post-rescue
Multiple agencies work to rescue man trapped in mud. In the background the Hoylake RNLI Hovercraft can be seen. Mid-ground are the various agency workers assisting the casualty on a far-reaching mud flat. In the foreground the beam of New Brighton RNLI's Atlantic-85 is just visible.

RNLI/Mike Stannard

Multiple agencies work to rescue man trapped in mud
Two of New Brighton RNLI's crew are sat on the rear seats of their Atlantic-85 lifeboat. They are covered extensively in mud.

RNLI/Connor Wray

New Brighton RNLI crew head back to wash down

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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