All Weather Mersey Lifeboat 12-24 “Lil Cunningham” – Services 2008

22/12/2008. 2058
Both boats, together with all of Rhyl’s coastguard teams, police, and RAF rescue helicopter 122, were involved in a 3-hour search between Rhyl’s Splash point and ASDA Kinmel Bay, after Holyhead Coastguard received a 999 call on a mobile phone saying 2 males had gone for a swim whilst under the influence of drugs, but only one had come out of the water. The search area was illuminated at first by parachute flares, then with the helicopter using infra-red cameras to scan the area. The search was called off at 2330, and after discussions with the police, it was assumed that the call was a hoax.


11/9/2008. 0246
Both boats launched and Rhyl coastguard team alerted after police received notification of a young male, known for self-harming, reported going into the sea off Presthaven Sands holiday camp, Prestatyn. As the ILB arrived on scene, and the AWB was off Prestatyn, the coastguards reported they had found the male on the road on the holiday camp. Both boats were stood down, and the boats were ready for service by 0450.


25/8/2008. 0916
AWB launched together with Llandudno lifeboat to the 40-feet sailing vessel “Leanora” with 3 persons on board, who had electrical failure whilst on passage from Conwy to Liverpool. The boat was being towed towards Conwy by the windfarm support vessel “Yogi” and was located towards the eastern edge of the new Rhyl flats windfarm. Llandudno lifeboat had been paged before Rhyl, and as the vessel was being towed back towards Conwy, Llandudno were first on scene. After a discussion between the 2 lifeboat coxswains and the skeleton staff at Holyhead coastguard ( due to industrial action by the coastguards) , Llandudno took over the tow from “Yogi” and Rhyl stood by. Once the tow was secured, Rhyl lifeboat was stood down and returned to station at 1120.


17/8/2008. 2021
ILB launched to assist local coastguards, ambulance and police personnel who were attending to a woman on the rocks near to the disused jetty at Llanddulas, who had tried to self harm. The ILB arrived on scene and it was decided that the only was to evacuate the woman by sea. The AWB had launched and was proceeding also. The ILB crew got the woman on board, and the paramedic also, to administer oxygen and a drip was fitted to her to counteract the effect of what she had taken. The ILB then made a slow passage to Colwyn Bay slipway, about 1.5 miles to the West, with the AWB still proceeding. The ILB landed at the slipway, and the crew with ambulance and coastguards, got the woman into an ambulance, where she was rushed to hospital. The AWB was on scene just as the ILB was starting the return journey to Rhyl, and the 2 boats returned to station at 2300.The AWB crew had only finished polishing the boat some 5 hours earlier, for Open day !


On 16th August, our station boat, 12-24 “Lil Cunningham” returned to station by sea from Holyhead boatyard after her refit. The relief lifeboat 12-001 “Alex and Peggy Caird” was taken to Conwy marina by sea to be stored for relief duties whenever needed.


14/8/2008. 1340
AWB launched to assist 19-feet long dayboat “Janet” which was having engine difficulties and was struggling to make it back to Rhyl harbour against the ebbing tide. The boat’s 2 occupants had managed to restart their engine after struggling for nearly an hour to start it. The AWB escorted them to the entrance to Rhyl harbour but it was too shallow for the AWB to go into the harbour, so they were watched going in. As the boat neared the narrows by the harbour, the engine cut out again, and the ILB was put on standby, but the men managed to restart the engine and successfully made it into Rhyl harbour. The ILB was stood down, and the AWB returned to station by 1430.


16/7/2008. 1039
AWB brought to immediate readiness to support Llandudno ILB searching for a man last seen swimming off Llanddulas and Colwyn Bay beaches. As the crew were mustering, Holyhead coastguard reported the man had been found and stood all units down at 1041.Classed as standby.


15/7/2008. 1317
Both boats, together with Rhyl coastguard team; Rhyl beach Patrol; Rhyl lifeboat shore crew in Landrover: Hoylake lifeboat and RAF rescue helicopter; were tasked to search for people in the water after an 18-feet rowing boat was found on the shoreline at the Nova beach, Prestatyn, with the Global positioning system, radio, and other gear still intact and working. There was no sign of the occupants, who had informed Liverpool coastguard they were on a sponsored row around the UK, and were between Prestatyn and Rhyl. A large surface search was initiated by Holyhead Coastguard, and all units were told to look out for possible bodies in the sea, whilst the shore parties investigated the various cafés and bars on the shore. After about an hour, the men were located by the local lifeguards and coastguards in a local beach bar, and they stated they had come ashore for “a coffee”. All units were stood down, the AWB standing by whilst the boat was secured. It was the intention of the men to leave the boat on the beach, and resume their row the next day. It is not known if the men (who were doing the row for charity) had any shore support, but it seems the coastguards were not properly informed the rowers had landed ashore, or the search could have been called off sooner. All RNLI units were back on station and ready for service by 1545.

1548
Both boats brought to immediate readiness as a male who was being chased by police, had entered the water off Prestatyn. As the crew were getting ready again, it was reported the male had been apprehended on the beach and both units stood down at 1555.

2045
Both boats re-launched to assist the charity rowers getting from Prestatyn beach to Rhyl harbour in time for high water. They were towed the 3 miles back, then slipped the tow at the end perch to get into harbour under their own oar-power, attended with the ILB to help them find a mooring and get ashore. This was completed at 2205.

2205
Holyhead coastguard requested the AWB divert from it’s escort duty, to go to Pensarn beach, to investigate a report of a possible upturned dinghy. On scene, it was found to be the Abergele sewer buoy, and the AWB returned to station at 2230, ready for service at 2315.


14/7/2008. 1720
Both boats were launched after the local sport charter fishing vessel “Suveran” discovered a small kayak floating about 1/2 mile out, 1 mile west of the station. A search which also involved the local coastguards and the shore crew in the Landrover LR74, was carried out , searching up wind between Rhyl and Rhos on Sea, and up the river Clwyd and the shoreline, to about 11 miles to the west. Nothing else was sighted. There were no paddles with the kayak, and no identifying marks, but it had not been in the water long. After 2 hours’ searching, with nothing found, the search was terminated. Both boats returned to station and were ready for service at 2025.


3/7/2008. 2205
AWB crew paged for immediate readiness to assist ILB off Prestatyn searching for swimmer in darkness. The ILB crew rescued the man and the AWB crew were stood down at 2230. Classed as standby.


30/6/2008. 1704
ILB requested to launch to Prestatyn Barkby beach after reports of a powered Kite surfer being blown out to sea, and the kite landing in the water. The ILB came across the kite, but with no-one around, so the kite was anchored with the ILB’s drogue, and back-up was requested. Holyhead coastguard requested the AWB to launch, together with airborne support from RAF Rescue 122 SeaKing helicopter, and also 3 support vessels from the Rhyl Flats windfarm construction. The support vessel “Carmel Head” recovered the kite, and transferred it to the AWB when on scene. The search continued for approximately 1 hour, with the local coastguard team and the lifeboat’s shore crew in the Landrover, searching the shoreline. Eventually, word came from members of the public, saying they saw 2 youths flying the kite, and running away back to the promenade, leaving the kite to be blown out to sea. The search was therefore called off and all units returned to station, the boats being ready for service by 2035.


6/6/2008. 2158
Holyhead Coastguard received a call from the 32-feet Motor yacht “Midnight Oil”, with 2 persons on board, who were tired and unsure of their position. They had sailed the yacht from Scotland to get to Conwy marina in 2 days, but were unsure of their location, which they thought was off Rhyl. The lifeboat launched and used direction-finding equipment to locate the boat, which was eventually found off Talacre lighthouse.2 lifeboat crew were put on board, and the boat and her crew were checked over. All seemed OK, just that the men were very tired. It was agreed that the lifeboatmen on board “Midnight Oil” would navigate the boat, escorted by the lifeboat, to Mostyn, as there was no water in Rhyl harbour. This was completed, and the boat put on a mooring in Mostyn docks, so the men could get some rest, before continuing their passage to Conwy the next day. The lifeboat returned to Rhyl and was ready for service by 0155 Saturday morning.


29/5/2008. 0100
The Heavy lift Vessel “Svanen”, being used to erect the transition piles for the new Rhyl Flats Windfarm, contacted Holyhead Coastguard to say one of their crew had fallen 4 metres on the deck of the vessel. He was conscious but needed evacuation to hospital. The AWB crew were paged, and the boat launched at 0112. There were 5 miles to run, and so the crew prepared first aid and recovery gear. It proved quite hazardous to go alongside the vessel, as the lifeboat had to avoid the 8 anchor lines which kept the vessel in place, and also to get alongside a ladder with about 1.5 metre swells. The support vessel “MarineCo Hahti” offered assistance as it had a much lower deck, and so this boat was placed alongside the “Svanen”, and the lifeboat alongside the “MarineCo Hahti”. The man was successfully transferred to the lifeboat and was back ashore at Rhyl by 0305, and checked over by ambulance personnel. He was then transferred to hospital. He had suffered major bruising and lacerations to his forearm, and also a large bump on his head, but was mobile and conscious for the whole of the journey back to Rhyl. The AWB was ready for service at 0345.


9/5/2008. 2226
The AWB was launched to assist Flint coastguards and Flint ILB, searching for a 16-foot Dory day boat with 3 persons on board, who were lost in the sea mist between Mostyn docks and Greenfield. They only had a mobile phone for communications, no VHF radio. As the AWB approached Talacre lighthouse, Flint ILB reported the had found the casualty and were escorting them back to Greenfield Dock, and all was well. The AWB was therefore released and returned to station at 2315.


11/4/2008. 1240
Both boats were launched to assist the police, together with local coastguards from Rhyl and Flint ;the RAF rescue helicopter “Rescue 122” ; and police helicopter “NW1”; to search between Prestatyn and Point of Air lighthouse for a missing vulnerable woman, believed to be on the beach area or sand dunes. All units conducted a thorough search of the foreshore and sea to about 1 mile out for about 2 hours, until local police units reported the woman was safe ashore in Prestatyn town centre. All units were recalled, and the boats returned to the boathouse by 1545.


Our station Mersey 12-24 “Lil Cunningham” left Rhyl by sea to go to Holyhead on Tuesday 8 April. The relief Mersey 12-001 “Peggy and Alex Caird” arrived by sea from Conwy to take up relief station duties the same day. Our boat will have it’s 5-yearly refit in Holyhead and will take a few months to complete. As noted by the 3 numbers on the hull, the relief boat is aluminium-hulled, whereas our station boat is a fibre-composite hull.


23/3/2008. 1206
Both boats launched after a fairly new lifejacket and 2 boats’ fenders were washed up at Splash Point, Rhyl. The local coastguard team were already on scene and confirmed the items. the boats were requested to launch by Holyhead coastguard to conduct a shoreline search between Rhyl and Point of Air lighthouse, up to 2 miles out. this was done for 2 hours, but nothing further was sighted, and so the search was called off, the boats returning to station by 1420.

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