Hoylake RNLI training exercise turns into emergency response

A training exercise turned into an emergency incident for Hoylake RNLI hovercraft on Wednesday 8 February after the UK Coastguard received reports of a person in difficulty on Crosby Beach.

The hovercraft Hurley Spirit and her volunteer crew diverted from their exercise on Hoylake Beach at 6.32pm and headed to Crosby to assist Crosby and Southport Coastguard Rescue Teams in searching for the reported casualty.

Upon arriving at the scene, the hovercraft conducted a shoreline search in the dark using searchlights, starting from the Crosby Leisure Centre to the Coastguard Station and extending to the River Alt.

The Coastguard also scoured the shore and deployed illuminating parachute flares to illuminate the area. The search was further supported by a helicopter from the National Police Air Service.

After almost two hours of searching, with nobody located and no further reports of anyone in difficulty, the incident was concluded by the Coastguard as a false alarm with good intent and the hovercraft was stood down.

Hoylake RNLI hovercraft commander Chris Williams said, “Although there was nobody in distress on this occasion, we would always encourage anyone to dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard if they think there is an emergency at the coast.”

Image: Hoylake RNLI

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