Midnight Rescue of Fishermen by New Brighton Lifeboat

RNLI New Brighton Atlantic 85 Charles Dibdin-Large

Date:
27/07/2014
Author: Bob Warwick

RNLI New Brighton lifeboat responded to a report that a small vessel was in difficulty out from the Gunsight picnic spot on the Leasowe shore. The call came just before 11pm, it was dark, high water at midnight and sea choppy.

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RNLI New Brighton lifeboat responded to a report that a small vessel was in difficulty out from the Gunsight picnic spot on the Leasowe shore. The call came just before 11pm, it was dark, high water at midnight and sea choppy.

We launched our Atlantic 85 lifeboat B-870 John & Louisa Fisher with a crew of 4 on board. Helmsman in charge of the lifeboat Mike Plaskett related
‘Following a rather choppy run to the Leasowe coast we located the vessel which was a small 17ft fishing vessel with three people on board. Fortunately the vessel had lights and we were able to locate it fairly quickly. It appeared that they had been fishing out in Liverpool Bay and suffered engine failure and drifted in on the tide. They had dropped anchor and we found them approx 100 metres out from the shore and when we arrived they were not wearing lifejackets. The casualty also informed us that a second vessel had made its way ashore earlier and this information was relayed to HM Coastguard’

He continued ‘We put crewman Davies on board to rig up a tow and then headed back to New Brighton with the intention of mooring the vessel on a buoy there. However on the journey back the vessel slowly took on water through a hole in the stern. We decided to tow it into shallower water and with the aid of our awaiting beach crew to recover it onto the casualty’s trailer’

On reaching New Brighton the tide was right in with waves hitting what little remained of the beach was choppy causing the vessel to lurch in an unpredictable fashion. This made it problematic to control the boat but through the valiant efforts of our beach crew of five plus the illumination of the scene by our tractor driver Mike Jones who finally towed the vessel on its trailer up the ramp at Victoria Slipway. The recovery of the lifeboat was completed and all returned to base for wash down and refuelling with this completed by 1:30am.

New Brighton’s Lifeboat Operations Manager Graham Sale commented ‘Both our lifeboat crew and those doing the recovery on the beach did a magnificent job in very trying conditions and late in the day. We would stress the need for anyone going to sea and likely to be out for a while to contact HM Coastguard with details of their trip. In addition vhf radio, flares plus an auxiliary engine can make all the difference and lifejackets worn at all times. This followed a 9am call out for our hovercraft with several individuals being involved in both incidents ’

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