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Fleetwood RNLI retrieve catamaran in the Irish Sea

Lifeboats News Release

Both Fleetwood RNLI lifeboats were launched on Sunday (26 May) to bring a cruising catamaran to safety.

Shannon Class lifeboat Kenneth James Pierpoint ahead, a catamaran under tow and D Class ILB Harbet trailing.

RNLI/David Devereux

The casualty vessel being towed into Fleetwood

The charity's volunteer crew were paged at the request of HM Coastguard at approximately 9.55am, after a call for assistance from a catamaran in distress in the Irish Sea. The Isle of Man ferry Manxman responded initially before being stood down on the arrival of Morecambe Bay gas field's standby safety vessel Grampian Fortress. The safety vessel’s daughter craft DC-431then took the casualty vessel under tow, before Barrow’s Tamar Grace Dixon arrived on scene at 11.25am, followed shortly by Fleetwood’s Shannon Kenneth James Pierpoint.

Upon making a thorough assessment of the situation and determining that the catamaran had lost power and the crew were unable to make sail due to a previous unrelated injury, the Coxswain in discussion with the other crew and Coastguard decided that the safest option for all parties was for Fleetwood’s Shannon to take over the tow and return the casualty vessel to safe harbour in Fleetwood, while Barrow could return to station ready for service.

Fleetwood’s D class inshore lifeboat Harbet was also launched at approximately 3pm to put a crew member aboard and provide assistance with the final process of bringing the casualty vessel in and making her safe. The casualties were then returned to shore.

Gary Randles, volunteer Coxswain of the Kenneth James Pierpoint said: ‘The law of the sea says that when a fellow mariner calls for help, you answer. I'd like to thank the Captains of the Manxman, the Grampian Fortress and DC-431 for doing just that: for stepping up and supporting the casualty vessel as we made our way to her.

‘Thank you to Barrow RNLI, who also responded to the call for help. It’s great to work alongside our fellow lifeboat crews in our shared mission to save lives at sea.’

Notes to editors

  • Fleetwood’s RNLI All-Weather Lifeboat is named KENNETH JAMES PIERPOINT and is a Shannon class boat.

  • Fleetwood’s RNLI Inshore Lifeboat is named HARBET and is a D-Class boat.

  • Photo credit: RNLI/ David Devereux

  • Fleetwood lifeboat station has been operating since 1859. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to:

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact David Devereux, Fleetwood RNLI Press Officer, on 07591 675733 / [email protected] Danielle Rush, RNLI Regional Communications Lead, West, on 07786 668829/ [email protected] or Claire Fitzpatrick-Smith, Regional Communications Manager on 07977 728315 / [email protected]

Shannon Class lifeboat Kenneth James Pierpoint with a catamaran ahead, in the Wyre estuary

RNLI/David Devereux

The casualty vessel being moored under RNLI supervision

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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For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.