New Brighton RNLI’s volunteer crew were tasked on consecutive evenings to vessels in difficulty over the busy bank holiday weekend.
The Early May bank holiday weekend proved to be a busy one for the lifeboat crew at New Brighton, as their inshore, Atlantic-85, lifeboat was tasked twice in two days to assist vessels in difficulty in different parts of the River Mersey.
On Sunday 30 April, the pagers sounded at 5:11pm in response to a tasking from HM Coastguard to a fishing vessel in difficulty out near the Burbo Bank offshore wind farm, just off Hightown.
Upon arrival on the scene, the helm carried out a risk assessment and the decision was taken to establish a tow with the small vessel. Conditions were favourable and allowed a tow to be established quickly, and the lifeboat made steady progress towards Liverpool Marina, arriving just after 8pm to see the fishing boat returned to safety.
On Monday 1 May, the pagers sounded again at 9pm. This time HM Coastguard tasked the volunteer crew to assess the condition of a broken-down yacht out near the C1 buoy, in the Formby Point proximity.
The volunteer helm carried out a risk assessment of the situation. The decision was taken to establish a tow with the vessel. The lifeboat made steady way toward Liverpool Marina and returned the yacht to safety at around 11pm.
Helm Mike Stannard said, “We are approaching the time of year when the river is at its busiest with pleasure craft and people out making the most of the good weather.
“We would always encourage anyone out on the river to make sure they carry out proper checks on their vessel before heading out for the day. We would also always advise carrying a VHF radio on board, as mobile phone signal becomes unreliable the further out you travel.”
Lifeboat crews are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If you find yourself in difficulty whilst out on the river, or spot anybody else you think might be in difficulty, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
Image: RNLI/Connor Wray