Hoylake RNLI volunteers assist broken down yacht in Liverpool Bay

The RNLI lifeboat was requested to launch by the UK Coastguard at 4.16pm on Friday 4 June when a yacht with two people on board suffered mechanical failure.

Hoylake’s Shannon class lifeboat ‘Edmund Hawthorn Micklewood’ and her volunteer crew launched and headed to the casualty’s reported position, 13 miles northwest of the lifeboat station. The lifeboat soon located the yacht near the entrance to the main shipping channel of the River Mersey and the Burbo Bank Wind Farm. The yacht was under sail as the crew tried to make some progress towards Liverpool Marina.

The lifeboat crew spoke to the casualties, who were both well but said that their engine had overheated and would not start. With the tide flooding and the channel getting busy with commercial traffic, the RNLI lifeboat crew decided to tow the casualty vessel to the safety of the marina.

A tow line was established between the lifeboat and the yacht and the vessels headed into the River Mersey together through the Rock Channel off New Brighton. The lifeboat towed the yacht into Liverpool Marina through the lock system, before the RNLI crew assisted the casualties with putting the yacht safely onto a berth.

With the vessel secured and the casualties requiring no further assistance, Hoylake RNLI lifeboat and her volunteer crew left the marina back through the lock and returned to the lifeboat station to be washed down, refuelled, and made ready for service again.

Hoylake RNLI Coxswain Andy Dodd said, “The casualties didn’t hesitate to call the Coastguard after suffering engine failure, which was absolutely the right thing to do given the flooding tide and with the main shipping channel into the Port of Liverpool getting busier.

“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.”

Images: RNLI Hoylake

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