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Football becomes focus for rescue by New Brighton RNLI lifeboat crew

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI volunteers diverted from training on 26 June 2018 to retrieve a ball for teens on New Brighton beach after a member of the public alerted RNLI shore crew to the risk of the lads entering the water.

Lifeboat and crew on trailer after recovery, with young Jason in the foreground holding his football

RNLI/Damian Cull

RNLI lifeboat crew with 15-year-old Jason after safely returning his football

RNLI New Brighton shore and lifeboat volunteers briefly abandoned training to aid a small group of up to four teenagers whose early evening kick-around on New Brighton Perch Rock beach resulted in their football floating away on the tide.

During the RNLI volunteers’ launch-and-recovery practice, a member of the public approached the lifeboat charity's shore crew asking them to watch out for a group of boys whose football had landed in the water. Although the woman – who said she has sons of a similar age – explained she had advised the lads not to go in after it, she was concerned they might do so and wanted to ensure they came to no harm.

On-shore volunteers immediately radioed RNLI Lifeboat Helm Dan Wardle who diverted from exercise to investigate. On finding the ball, it was delivered back to 15-year-old Jason from Chester. Wardle said: “We found the ball bobbing around half a mile into the River Mersey and on its way to Liverpool. It was promptly returned to Jason who seemed very pleased to have it back.

“We are always grateful to the public for their help and would like to thank the woman who so swiftly alerted our shore crew to the situation, especially as there was a fast incoming tide at the time. If Jason or his companions had entered the water we may well have had a far more serious rescue underway so we are delighted to have been able to avert that possibility.”

As soon as the football was safely back where it belonged the RNLI crew resumed their launch-and-recovery training.

To report someone either in difficulty or at risk in or near the water call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

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