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Hoylake RNLI hovercraft launches to person cut off by rising tide.

Lifeboats News Release

The Hoylake RNLI hovercraft was called out by UK Coastguard to the assistance of a person cut off by the rising tide on a sandbank off Meols on the North Wirral coast.

Hovercraft at speed on the beach at Hoylake.

RNLI/Peter Ruddell

Hoylake RNLI rescue hovercraft.

At 1.42pm UK Coastguard requested that the volunteer crew from the Hoylake RNLI station should launch the hovercraft and proceed to assist a person seen cut off by a member of the public. The hovercraft was launched at 1.55pm and proceeded along the coast to reach the casualty just two minutes later.

The casualty was walking four dogs along the beach on the far side of a gully which was rapidly filling with water on the rising tide. He was unfamiliar with the local area and had not appreciated the speed with which the incoming tide filled the gully, preventing him from reaching the safety of the embankment.

The crew of the hovercraft were able to pick up the gentleman and his dogs and carry them safely to a nearby slipway where they were met by local Coastguards who ensured that he was not in need of any medical attention and offered safety advice.

RNLI Crewman Harry Jones offered this advice; “The sandbanks can look very inviting to walkers but please be aware that they are also extremely dangerous on a rising tide. The water can come in along gullies faster than a person can walk. Please check tide times before venturing out on to the banks.”

The hovercraft returned to station at 2.15pm, where it was washed down and prepared for service.

Notes to editors.

  • Hoylake Lifeboat Station has been operating since 1803 and is one of the oldest in the country. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to www.rnli.org.uk/hoylake or www.hoylakelifeboat.org.uk/
  • Lifeboat Operations Manager Dave Whiteley and Coxswain/Mechanic Andy Dodd are available for interview by arrangement.

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Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland from 236 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 180 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 139,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland