All Weather Mersey Lifeboat 12-24 “Lil Cunningham” – Services 2018

28/5/2018. 1429.  AWB and ILB pagers activated to search for an overdue 21-ft speedboat with 2 persons on board, overdue coming back from Liverpool to see the tall ships. As the boats were launching, news came via the coastguard the vessel was aground near Talacre. The 2 lifeboats made their way there, but when they got to the location (about half a mile East of the lighthouse) it was obvious that the boat was high and dry and would only refloat when the tide came in about 9pm. The boat’s anchor was re-positioned to stop any drift with the incoming tide, as the boat would end up in the busy channel in the approaches to Mostyn Port. The vessel had sustained engine trouble on beaching, and so could not return to Rhyl, so the Coxswain in conjunction with the owner and the station manager, agreed to return on the flood tide. Both lifeboats returned to station by 1715.


…………………..2030. Both boats relaunched to the initial casualty to find it just floating in a gulley. A tow line was attached by the ILB and the boat was towed out to the AWB. The 2 casualties were transferred to the lifeboat and the vessel was towed back to Rhyl, arriving just before midnight. The ILB again took over the tow to get the vessel under the harbour footbridge, and returned the boat to the yacht club slipway to local coastguards. Both vessels returned to station , being ready for service at 0140 the next morning.

20/5/2018. 2118. The ILB; and the AWB at 2150, were launched to help in a shoreline search between Rhyl and Barkby Beach Prestatyn, in conjunction with coastguards, Police on the ground and in the air. This followed a police incident near Rhyl Golf Club where a male was taken into custody, and a search was started for another male who was with him. All units searched for three hours until the police said all maritime units could stand down, the lifeboats returning to station at 0020 the next morning. Picture shows the track of the AWB.

13/5/2018.1304. The two men, on a fishing trip with their dogs in an 18-foot speedboat, realised their boat was taking in water after their engine broke down and the battery was flat, so rendering their bilge pump unworkable.

Approaching vessel.

The men did not have a radio to contact the coastguard, but were able to contact the UK coastguard at Holyhead by mobile phone. The coastguard immediately paged Rhyl AWB crew who prepared the lifeboat to be ready for launch. The initial position given by the men , of off Kinmel Bay, was found to be inaccurate, and the boat was eventually found some four miles to the North-East, due to the wind and tide. The lifeboat crew were able to locate the vessel visually, and were alongside soon afterwards. The back of the boat was low in the water, and the outboard engine compartment was full of water. A tow was established and crew members were transferred from the lifeboat to the vessel to help with this. The men and the two dogs were taken on board the lifeboat. It soon became clear the vessel was shipping more water, and so the lifeboat’s salvage pump was transferred and soon helped to keep the ingress of water to a manageable level whilst the tow was re-established. As the tide was out at Rhyl, local volunteer coastguards retrieved the men’s trailer from the harbour yard, and brought it to the lifeboat station, where the boat was recovered. The men were then taken back by road by the coastguards, with their boat, to their car.The men were safe and well, as well as the dogs, after their rescue. Some safety advice was given by the local coastguard volunteers as to what radio equipment and location devices were available to locate their position more accurately in the future.

7/5/2018. 1649. The ILB was launched, and the AWB brought to immediate readiness, after the UK coastguard coordinating centre in Holyhead received a 999 call from a lady at Talacre, saying her 4 year-old daughter had gone missing, last seen in the sea. The ILB launched and had travelled about half-way to the area (8 miles away), when the lady again dialled 999 and said her child had been found safe and well. Both boats were stood down, the ILB returning at 1740.

30/3/2018.  2150. North Wales Police informed the UK Coastguard Co-ordinating centre in Holyhead, that clothes had been found on Rhyl beach, opposite the Pavilion Theatre. Local coastguard teams were paged, but it soon became clear due to the tide and sea conditions, that extra resources would be required to carry out a shoreline search. A jacket had been found on the beach and it was unclear where the owner had gone to. Both the inshore, and all-weather lifeboat were launched, this being the first launch for the all-weather boat. Other items of clothing were found by the coastguards further down the beach, but wee not directly associated with the initial find.
The area between Rhyl Harbour and Garford road past Splash Point were thoroughly searched using searchlights and parachute flares to illuminate the area, but nothing was found.
After nearly two hours of searching, nothing had been found, and as no-one was reported missing from the area, the search was called off with a possible extra check in daylight the following day. The lifeboats returned to station at just after midnight on Saturday.

Photos courtesy of Ian Olsen, Station Officer at Rhyl coastguard.
Path of ILB Path of ILB ILB launching ILB searching

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