Your Lifeboats

wal-030As you will have seen from the media our historic lifeboat station was temporarily closed by the RNLI on the 21st July following the dismissal of 12 experienced lifeboat crew. This followed a dispute with management since last October during which time 8 wal-033experienced crew resigned.

On the 8th August the station re-opened with only our Atlantic 85 lifeboat operational on a much reduced cadre until the end of summer when a review of the service would be carried out.

So far we have had 27 call outs this year and I thought it appropriate to reflect on some of the recent rescues prior to closure – the full stories are available on the station website — in addition to the RNLI statement about the reasons for the closure.

In April our lifeboat was called to assist a person with a suspected heart attack while on a small vessel in the River.

7th June saw the rescue by hovercraft of two people and dog who were on a sandbank and cut off by the tide.

9th June the hovercraft was involved in a very challenging and successful search for two fishermen lost in dense fog off the Wirral coast with an incoming tide.

21st June an experienced swimmer was caught in a rip current and ended up trapped in the New Brighton lighthouse breakwater by the incoming tide. She was rescued by two lifeboatmen who approached along the breakwater.wal-032

On the 3rd of July our lifeboat was involved in a search of the Rock Channel off from the Wirral coast following a MayDay distress call.

11th July saw the hovercraft and lifeboat called to assist when the Mersey Ferry Royal Iris had gone aground at the start of the Manchester Ship Canal. At the same time an aircraft approaching Speke airport reported difficulties but fortunately landed safely.

On the 19th July the station had what appeared to be a busy and successful Open Day with lots of stalls with all sorts of goodies.shanty songs by The Liverpool Shanty Kings and attendance by The Mayor & Mayoress of Wirral plus our Atlantic 85 lifeboat proudly on display.

wal-03120th July saw the last rescue carried out when a fishing vessel with 2 people on board suffered gearbox failure near to the Rivers
underwater retaining wall.

21st July— RNLI closed down the station and dismissed many of the crew involved in the recent rescues.

This is my last report for Walrus as I have decided to retire as volunteer press officer for the lifeboat station.

This article was written in mid August — my hope is that by the time you read this we will have once again a fully operational lifeboat station with hovercraft and lifeboat manned by experienced crew safeguarding the people of the Wirral and Merseyside.

I hope you have enjoyed the many write ups of the stations activities over recent years.

Bob Warwick, RNLI New Brighton Press Officer