All Weather Mersey Lifeboat 12-24 “Lil Cunningham” – Services 2017

9/9/2017.1545. 25 Kite surfers were taking part in a charity downwind challenge of 8 miles. Just after the AWB had launched on exercise, the Launching Authority at the boathouse noticed a kite surfer struggling to regain control and settling in the water, about two miles west of the station. The UK coastguard at Holyhead were informed, and the all-weather lifeboat was diverted to the scene. The man had become detached from his board and was drifting in the water when the lifeboat came alongside. He was taken on board the lifeboat together with all his lines and kite. Just as this was completing, the crew spotted a kite surfer going in the wrong direction towards Llandudno, and asked Holyhead coastguard to alert the local coastguard teams to monitor his progress. Some ten minutes after picking up the first kite surfer, another two were spotted back towards Rhyl, both lying in the water. The lifeboat crew immediately went to them, and both them and their kites were taken on board the lifeboat. It was then thought prudent for the lifeboat to stay at sea as long as the casualties aboard were well and safe, until all kites had reached landfall at Rhyl. The kite surfer going towards Llandudno was eventually spotted by Rhyl coastguard volunteers, as he made landfall at Towyn, and he was monitored as he walked back on the beach towards Rhyl. Eventually all kite surfers were accounted for and the lifeboat returned to station at 5.55pm, no medical assistance being required.

6/9/2017. 2011. Both boats were paged to assist Rhyl Coastguard and police officers, searching for a vulnerable person reported in the water at Ffrith Beach Prestatyn. As the ILB arrived on scene, coastguard officers reported the person had come up and made themselves known to them, so all was well. The ILB was stood down. The AWB had just got to the water’s edge at Rhyl when it too was stood down, the AWB service classed as a standby. Both boats returned to station by 2110.

2/9/2017.1718. A 10-metre private fishing vessel had contacted the UK coastguard via Holyhead centre, to say that they could not start their inboard diesel engine, and were anchored just off the Little Orme headland, 10 miles west of the station. They had set out from Rhyl that morning, and requested assistance to get back to Rhyl harbour.
The AWB launched some 11 minutes later, and was on scene 40 minutes after launching. As all the persons on the boat were wearing lifejackets and all were well, a tow was undertaken with the casualties remaining on board their vessel. The AWB arrived at Rhyl harbour and the boat was safely moored on the outer pontoons, the casualty being handed over to Rhyl coastguard volunteers and the harbour master.
The lifeboat arrived home at 2045.

27/8/2017. 1237. The AWB crew were paged to launch to a 7m small leisure fishing boat, 15 miles out, who had suffered engine failure. The AWB launched and was on scene about 1 hour later. The boat’s electrical system had failed and not the engine, so the boat was taken in tow back to Prestatyn where the 2 man had launched from. The boat was recovered on to the beach at Prestatyn Barkby slip, and the boat then returned to station, exactly five minutes after the AWB would have launched for a demo exercise, In all the boat covered 34 nautical miles, and was on service for nearly 4 hours, returning at 1635.

22/8/2017.1329. The ILB crew were paged, together with local coastguards, after the UK coastguard at Holyhead received numerous 999 calls from the public, saying there was a young girl in an inflatable flamingo being swept out to sea off Kinmel Bay. The ILB launched first, and was directed to the general area by a local coastguard on scene. Searching nearly 1 mile offshore, the crew came across a small day boat which had picked up the inflatable but no-one was on board. The ILB helmsman immediately called for further resources and the AWB crew were paged, also the rescue helicopter from Caernarvon was tasked. The AWB launched and was on scene within 5 minutes. A search pattern was requested by the coastguard, together with the helicopter. A large area off Kinmel Bay was outlined for the search due to the wind and tide. After about 45 minutes of searching, local coastguards reported that they had been informed by a family on the shore that the inflatable was theirs, together with an inflatable white flamingo, and inflatable unicorn and an inflatable pizza!. All were safely ashore, so all units were stood down, the ILB returning at 1630 and the AWB at 1705. Pictured is the flamingo (deflated).

19/7/2017.1007. As the crew were cleaning the equipment after the previous night, UK coastguard set the pagers off again for the all-weather lifeboat. A fisherman on one of the charter fishing vessels from Rhyl had got a hook embedded in his hand, and was quite poorly, so a medical evacuation was requested. The lifeboat launched and proceeded to the boat, which was heading towards Rhyl, so they met about five miles out. A casualty care team of lifeboat crew members boarded the vessel, and assisted the casualty who was still unwell. The fisherman was given first aid and put in to a stretcher, and transferred to the lifeboat. The crew monitored the casualty’s health on the trip back, and the lifeboat returned to Rhyl beach to be met by paramedics, so that care could be handed over to them on the trip up the beach. The casualty was transferred to hospital by ambulance whilst the crew continued their efforts to clean the equipment from the previous night at 1210.

18/7/2017. 2100. The crew had only just left the station after a quite rigorous physical training evening, when they were paged to initially search for a 21-foot speedboat with two people on board, who had machinery failure somewhere by the Rhyl Flats wind farm, and thought they were somewhere between Llandudno and Abergele. The vessel had set out from Rhyl the previous afternoon, so were heading back towards there. The all-weather Rhyl lifeboat launched and proceeded to the westerly side of the wind farm, and tried to contact the casualty by radio, but was not very successful. As the lifeboat approached Colwyn Bay, the UK coastguard at Holyhead suggested that it may be prudent to launch Llandudno lifeboat to help search. About ten minutes later, Rhyl lifeboat managed to contact the casualty, and minutes later, spotted them off Rhos-on-sea. Llandudno lifeboat was stood down, as Rhyl was close by. The lifeboat was alongside within five minutes. A towline was attached and the vessel was towed back to Rhyl.
As there was no water in the harbour to recover the boat, the Inshore lifeboat was launched to take the owner back to shore, so he could bring their trailer to the lifeboat station. The boat was successfully recovered at the station and the lifeboats got back at about 20 minutes past midnight.

28/6/2017. 0255 The pagers alerted the crew to launch both boats.  The call came from the UK Coastguard; via their Holyhead control centre. It was to assist North Wales Police and local coastguard volunteers searching for a vulnerable person, who had threatened to enter the sea between the Sky Tower and Rhyl’s Splash Point. The ILB was launched first and started to search just offshore to the west of the station, followed by the AWB, which would search to the East towards Splash Point.
A few minutes after the AWB had launched, word was passed by the local coastguard Officer-in-charge on scene, that the person had been found ashore just by the Sealife Centre, 200 metres to the west of the station. There was no need for the lifeboats to remain on scene, so they were stood down, returning to station by 3.30am.

4/6/2017.1312. Both boats were paged to assist a 7m Dory sports fishing boat with four people on board, who had suffered mechanical failure on their outboard engine, and were drifting in the shipping channel between Prestatyn and Talacre. Rhyl local coastguard team were also tasked at the same time. When the services got to site, the vessel had come ashore but required returning to Rhyl. It had shipped a fair bit of water in the surf. With the help of the coastguards and local RNLI lifeguards, the boat was successfully refloated and the inshore lifeboat towed the craft to the waiting all-weather lifeboat. Three of the occupants were returned to Rhyl by the coastguards, and the remaining person was taken aboard the lifeboat which then returned to Rhyl with the casualty in tow. The craft was recovered on to its trailer at Rhyl beach, and the lifeboats returned to station at 1700, having had to pump water from the craft with the lifeboat’s salvage pump. The vessel’s occupants were then able to take their craft away.

19/5/2017. 2134.Crew paged for immediate readiness after smoke was detected on the Douglas gas and oil platform complex, 12 miles out. After 54 minutes, the UK coastguard at Holyhead reported the alert was over and the crew were stood down at 2137. Classed as standby.

 5/3/2017. 1607. The AWB launched after Coastguards at Holyhead picked up the message on the radio via their aerial at Moel-Y-Parc mast. Flint lifeboat was on exercise by Mostyn at the time, and was tasked to search the River Dee estuary between Talacre and Flint. Rhyl lifeboat was requested to search from Prestatyn to Talacre about half a mile off shore. A slow-speed passage was undertaken by both lifeboats but nothing was found. After searching for over an hour, both boats were released to return to their station, the call being either malicious or a mistake. Rhyl lifeboat crew returned to station at 2000.

4/3/2017. 1525. The lone skipper of a 21-foot small private fishing boat radioed the UK coastguard to report he was unable to start his engine after a day’s fishing. The vessel was at anchor about two miles North of the Nova centre Prestatyn. Rhyl volunteer lifeboat crew were paged by Holyhead coastguard co-ordinating centre at 1525 and were launched some 11 mins later.
Passage to the vessel was fairly easy as the skipper had a VHF radio and the lifeboat was able to use direction-finding equipment to home in immediately, and were alongside the vessel within 15 minutes. The skipper had anchored his vessel and once the lifeboat was close, lifted the anchor to enable a tow to be made to Rhyl harbour. The harbour was reached within 45 minutes and the vessel was safely alongside the outer pontoons in the harbour by 5pm, assisted by the harbourmaster, the station shore crew, and Rhyl local coastguard volunteers. The crew returned to station at 1730.

 

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