Three RNLI lifeboats launched yesterday afternoon to assist a yacht and a catamaran that had got into difficulty in Liverpool Bay.
Hoylake RNLI lifeboat was requested to launch by the UK Coastguard at 3.18pm to reports that a 31ft yacht had broken down two miles north of the Liverpool Anchorage. A 30ft catamaran was also in difficulty in the area. The two vessels had been on passage from the River Ribble to the River Dee.
Hoylake RNLI’s Shannon class lifeboat ‘Edmund Hawthorn Micklewood’ and her volunteer crew launched and headed to the vessels’ location. When the lifeboat arrived on the scene the yacht was still experiencing mechanical difficulties, so the lifeboat took the vessel under tow.
Meanwhile, the catamaran’s crew had got their engine running, but RNLI Rhyl lifeboat had been tasked by the Coastguard to escort the vessel into the River Dee in case it broke down again.
Rhyl RNLI’s Shannon class lifeboat ‘Anthony Kenneth Heard’ launched at 3.55pm to join Hoylake RNLI in assisting the casualty vessels. As the catamaran was struggling to make headway against the wind, Rhyl Lifeboat took the vessel under tow.
Hoylake Lifeboat originally planned to take the yacht to its intended anchorage in the River Dee near the HE4 buoy to the west of Hilbre Island. However, due to the direction of the wind, the RNLI crew advised that this location was unlikely to be suitable and suggested that the vessels take up moorings at West Kirby SC instead.
The yacht already had a mooring and the Hoylake Lifeboat crew arranged with the Sailing Club for an extra mooring to be made available for the catamaran. Hoylake Lifeboat also requested that the Coastguard task RNLI West Kirby Lifeboat to assist with securing the catamaran on its mooring. West Kirby’s inshore D class lifeboat ‘Seahorse’ and her volunteer crew launched at 5.50pm and rendezvoused with Hoylake and Rhyl Lifeboats.
Both the yacht and the catamaran were soon secured to their moorings and with the casualties requiring no further assistance, the three lifeboats were stood down and returned to their stations.
Hoylake RNLI Coxswain Andy Dodd said, ‘The casualties did the right thing by calling the Coastguard as soon as they found themselves in difficulty, particularly as they were close to a number of large commercial vessels at anchor.
’‘It was great working alongside our RNLI colleagues at Rhyl and West Kirby to bring vessels to safety together. We would also like to thank West Kirby Sailing Club for accommodating the catamaran on their moorings.
’‘Mechanical failure is the single biggest cause of rescue call-outs to sailing and motor cruisers, accounting for nearly 20 per cent of all RNLI lifeboat launches. If you get into difficulty at sea, always call the Coastguard on VHF Channel 16 or by dialling 999 or 112.’
Image credit: Hoylake RNLI