All Weather Mersey Lifeboat 12-24 “Lil Cunningham” – Services 2011

23/12/2011. 2300
The AWB was brought to immediate readiness after Holyhead Coastguard received a 999 call stating there was someone in the water off the “Long gate” pub in Towyn. The only pub similar to that in Towyn is the “Long Bar”, and so the AWB was readied as surf conditions in the dark could be hazardous at the launch and search sites. The local coastguard team were also tasked. After about 10 minutes, the coastguard reported the call was made from a mobile phone in Wolverhampton, and so all units were stood down. This is classed as a HOAX, with the AWB service classed as a standby.


6/11/2011. 1147
Both boats were requested to launch by Holyhead Coastguards after North Wales police had 999 calls reporting a set of clothing on the beach at Kinmel Bay. Rhyl coastguard team were also tasked. The boats searched between Rhyl and Towyn up to 1 mile offshore, until Holyhead coastguard were told the clothes had been there for 1 day, and local police knew of them. As no-one was reported missing, the search was cancelled and both boats returned to station at 1321.


2/9/2011. 1233
The occupants of the small day boat “Wicked Witch Too” reported they were having engine problems whilst fishing off Prestatyn, and they could not lift their anchor due to the fairly rough seas. The AWB was launched and was on scene within 30 minutes. The AWB went alongside the vessel, which was rolling and pitching, and a crew member was transferred from the AWB to the boat. The crew member tried to free the anchor, but it would not free. The AWB crew then used a grapnel hook to snag the anchor line, and managed to free the anchor by exerting a pull to the side. The anchor was hauled up, and the men started their engine, which seemed to be behaving OK, and began to motor towards their launch point. The crew member was retrieved, and the lifeboat escorted the vessel to nearer the launch ramp, but due to it being high tide and fairly rough, the men decided to anchor up and wait for the tide to recede a little. There being nothing else the lifeboat crew could do, they then returned to station, having to wait in Rhyl harbour until there was sufficient beach to recover the lifeboat. This was achieved by 1620.


01/09/2011. 1611
The AWB was requested to launch to a woman entering the water in Prestatyn to go after her dog, which was swimming out. As the ILB was already tasked to another incident, the AWB was prepared, but as the boat was going down the ramp on to the beach, Holyhead Coastguard reported the woman was now safe ashore, and the dog was also ashore, so the boat was stood down at 1615. Classed as standby.

1806
The AWB was requested to launch to search for a missing child, last seen at the water’s edge, to back up the ILB already searching. As the boat was again staring to go on the beach to launch, the child was found on the beach safe and well, and the boat returned to station at 1812. Classed as standby again.


28/8/2011. 0027
Both boats requested to launch to search shoreline for a man with learning difficulties, between Kinmel Bay and Towyn. The ILB launched first and got to the scene, and was just starting to search, when the coastguards reported the man had been located and all units could stand down.. The AWB was at the water’s edge, so had not launched, and the ILB returned to station. Classed as a standby for the AWB. All units returned to station at 0053.


6/8/2011. 1337
The crew were assembled for the station’s Flag Day and Rhyl Air show, when the 33′ charter fishing boat “Ocean Star” out of Rhyl, reported problems with his engine and requested an escort back to Rhyl as he had 9 passengers. The boat was launched within 5 minutes, and met up with the Ocean Star about 2 miles out. The skipper lifted his anchor, and proceeded at slow speed back to Rhyl, escorted by the lifeboat. Once the boat was safely moored in Rhyl harbour, the lifeboat left, but was not allowed to recover as the air show had begun. However, the crew had a good close-up of the show, as the planes were performing directly overhead!. Once the show had completed, the boat returned to station at 1701.


1/8/2011. 1505
The AWB crew were paged at 3.05pm on Monday 1st August to assist the crew of the yacht “Jester” who had engine problems about 2 miles East of the station, en route to the Menai Straits. The lifeboat crew were on scene within 10 minutes of launching, and took up a tow to get the yacht towards Anglesey. It was agreed with our flank stations and Holyhead Coastguard, for the yacht to be towed by Rhyl lifeboat as far as Puffin Island off Anglesey’s South-East coast, where Beaumaris Lifeboat crew would continue the tow to Beaumaris. This was completed at 6.30 pm after a 3-hour tow in good conditions, and Rhyl crew were back on station at 8.30pm.

22/7/2011. 1815
The AWB crew were paged , to launch to search for a kayaker who was lost and tired, off the South-East corner of Rhyl Flats Windfarm, about 3 miles off the coast of North-East Wales.The man had launched from the beach at Kinmel bay at 1530 that day, to paddle to the windfarm, which he succeeded in doing. However, the return journey proved difficult against the tide, and the man soon felt cold and tired, capsizing his craft once. His friend on the shore saw the man in trouble, and confirmed that was the case by mobile phone with the kayaker. The coastguard at Holyhead immediately paged the crew, and the AWB was under way some 12 minutes later. The coxswain made a course for the South-East corner of the windfarm, and then went West along the southerly edge, and the man was spotted some 3.5 miles off Pensarn. He was brought on to the lifeboat, showing signs of hypothermia, but was given first aid on the trip back to Rhyl, and he soon recovered. He was handed over to ambulance paramedics on arrival at Rhyl, and after about 30 minutes, was well enough to be driven back to his campsite.The lifeboat was ready for service at 2030.
AWB


11/7/2011. 2107
The AWB was launched after a small RIB with 4 men on board suffered engine failure about 1/2 mile out from the promenade at Rhyl. The AWB was on scene within 10 minutes, and the 4 were taken on board, and the boat towed back to Rhyl. The men had no lifejackets or radio on the boat, and had contacted the coastguard by mobile phone. It was their first time out in the boat. As the men had launched upstream from the blue bridge in Rhyl harbour, the AWB was unable to go under the bridge, and so the ILB was launched to take the men and their boat to their launching site. Both boats then returned to station by 2215.


10/6/2011. 1901
The AWB was launched to a small sport fishing boat with 2 people on board off Prestatyn. Their outboard engine and auxiliary engine had both failed. The lifeboat went alongside and found both occupants well and safe. The boat was taken in tow back to the beach, where a crew member assisted the men to recover the craft, and the lifeboat was back on station at 2125.


28/5/2011. 1540
AWB put on standby to assist ILB on service (see ILB page for more details). Stood down 1550. Classed as standby.


17/05/2011. 2121
AWB brought to immediate readiness to support ILB and police searching for a reported body in the water off the events arena. The search was called off at 2150 and the AWB was stood down. Classed as standby. See ILB services for fuller account.


22/04/2011. 1834
The AWB crew were paged to go to the assistance of a 10m boat “Ann Elizabeth 2” who had engine failure and no steerage with 5 people on board, about 9 miles North North West of the station. The AWB was on scene within 50 minutes, and discovered the boat was on passage from Liverpool to Anglesey. As it was nearer to Liverpool than Anglesey, the coastguards requested the boat be towed back to Liverpool. The boat was taken in tow, and the AWB proceeded to Liverpool. Hoylake lifeboat was requested to launch to take the boat up the River Mersey, and the 2 lifeboats met about 3 miles north of Hoylake lifeboat station. The tow was transferred and Rhyl lifeboat was released to return to station, returning at 2210. The boat had VHF radio and mobile phones, but they both proved difficult to contact the coastguard that distance from the coast.


16/02/2011. 1328
Rhyl AWB crew were paged at 1330 after the large yacht “Proteus”, on passage from Conwy to Barrow-in-Furness with 4 people on board, suffered a broken propeller shaft and was taking in water. The 4-man crew radioed that they were preparing to abandon the yacht, but assistance was given by the Gas Rig support vessel “Vos Inspirer” to stand by, whilst the flow of water was stemmed. The 2 fast rescue craft from “Vos Inspirer” then stood by as the lifeboat was on its way, and their crews and the yacht’s crew managed to plug the hole. The yacht was some 20 miles north of Rhyl, and the lifeboat crew took nearly 90 minutes to get on scene. By this time, the crew of the yacht had decided to return to Conwy, and so the lifeboat crew took up duties to stand by the yacht, and the Rig support vessel was stood down. It took nearly 3 hours for the boats to get off the entrance to the River Conwy, where Rhyl lifeboat was relieved by Llandudno lifeboat, who towed the yacht into Conwy Marina, as the yacht had no propulsion of its own. Rhyl lifeboat then returned to Rhyl by 2000, with Llandudno returning some 30 minutes later. the whole operation had taken nearly 7 hours. Proteus

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