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Sunny spell sparks surge in call-outs for Hoylake RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Soaring temperatures and big ‘spring’ tides this week sparked a surge in emergency call-outs for Hoylake RNLI’s volunteer crew as hundreds of people headed to beaches around the Wirral coast.

Hoylake RNLI

The Hoylake RNLI hovercraft and volunteer crew launched three times this week as sunny weather brought many visitors to Wirral beaches

Following the spike in incidents as warm weather continues, RNLI lifesavers are urging the public to respect the water by checking tide times and taking particular care when heading out on the water.

On Monday 4 September, Hoylake RNLI hovercraft was requested to launch by HM Coastguard when six children on paddleboards were feared to have been swept out to sea by the outgoing tide in Leasowe Bay. The hovercraft Hurley Spirit launched to join New Brighton RNLI lifeboat in the search for the children, who were soon located by the lifeboat over 700 metres offshore.

The children and their boards were brought on board the lifeboat and hovercraft and fortunately the young casualties required no medical attention. They were transferred safely ashore and passed to the care of their parents and the Wirral Coastguard Rescue Team.

The following afternoon, the hovercraft launched again when six people were reportedly cut off by the flooding tide in Leasowe Bay. Arriving on scene, the Hoylake RNLI crew found that five of the casualties had waded ashore through the rapidly filling tidal gutter, while one person was left cut off on the sandbank. The casualty was brought on board the hovercraft, before being flown ashore and passed to the coastguard.

On Wednesday 6 September, the RNLI hovercraft was tasked for a third time when another person became cut off by the flooding tide in the same area. The hovercraft launched and while en route, it was confirmed that the casualty had been assisted ashore safely by the coastguard.

The three call-outs were among many taskings this week for the Wirral RNLI lifeboat crews at Hoylake, West Kirby and New Brighton and local coastguard rescue teams. Most of the incidents involved people getting cut off by the tide.

The RNLI is asking visitors to local beaches to ensure they check and understand the tide times before heading out, to keep an eye on their surroundings, and to plan a route to safety. If anyone gets into difficulty, they should dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.

The RNLI is also reminding people that Leasowe Bay is not being patrolled by RNLI lifeguards for the rest of the year, while patrols at West Kirby, Moreton, Harrison Drive, The Plateaux and New Brighton are now only on weekends until 24 September.

Chris Cousens, RNLI Regional Water Safety Lead, said: ‘As the peak season finishes for RNLI lifeguards and with a reduction of lifeguarded beaches, we’re asking people to continue to take care and be aware of the dangers.’

‘If you are planning on swimming at a lifeguarded beach, we highly recommend you swim between the red and yellow flags as this is the safest area and is most closely monitored by lifeguards.’

‘If you get into trouble in the water, Float to Live. Tilt your head back with ears submerged and try to relax and control your breathing. Use your hands to help you stay afloat and then call for help or swim to safety if you can.’

‘With warmer weather many may make the most of the evenings and in recent weeks there has been an increase in paddleboard rescues. When using paddleboards, please remember to avoid offshore winds, wear a buoyancy aid, carry a phone in a waterproof pouch and to wear an appropriate leash to reduce the chance of separation from your board.’

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact:

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

Eleri Roberts, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 07771 941 390 or email [email protected]

RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789

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.