Morecambe’s volunteer lifeboat crew go to assistance of drifting fishing boat
Morecambe’s volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew launched to go to the assistance of a fishing boat with engine trouble and drifting out to sea.
At 3.15pm on Saturday 7 May 2016, Holyhead Coastguard requested the Morecambe RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew to go to the assistance of a 16ft fishing boat, with three persons on board, whose engine had failed approximately 1 ½ miles South of Heysham power station. The men on the fishing boat had informed the coastguard that they had deployed their anchor but it had failed to hold and they were drifting further out to sea, driven by the strong ebbing tide and offshore wind.
Morecambe’s volunteer crew proceeded to the area in the inshore lifeboat, by which time the casualty had drifted to a position approximately five miles South of Heysham harbour. One of the lifeboat crew transferred to the fishing boat and succeeded in starting its engine, but it continued to cut out.
Given the combined strength of the wind and receding tide, Morecambe’s RNLI volunteer helmsman, Steve Wilson, concluded that the inshore lifeboat would have insufficient fuel to tow the fishing boat and its occupants back to their launch site in Morecambe. He therefore requested the support of Fleetwood’s volunteer all weather lifeboat, which also launched and made way to the scene where, after supplying Morecambe’s inshore lifeboat with 20 litres of extra fuel, took two of the fisherman on board and proceeded to tow the stricken fishing boat to Knott End.
Meanwhile, Morecambe’s inshore lifeboat returned to Morecambe with the fishing boat’s owner on board, in order to return him to his vehicle and trailer. By this time, the tide had ebbed so low that they were unable to return to the lifeboat station and had to make a difficult beach recovery near the Grosvenor Road slipway, before returning to Station by road.
Morecambe RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Kevin Jackson, said ‘This rescue illustrates how well we can combine with our RNLI colleagues at other lifeboat stations in order to achieve a positive outcome.’
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 over 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.