When a 36 foot yacht suffered engine and steering failure off Southport on Wednesday 18 August, Southport Offshore Rescue Trust and Hoylake RNLI lifeboat were requested to launch by the UK Coastguard to assist. The yacht had 3 people on board and was in danger of being blown ashore.
Southport Offshore Rescue Trust’s Arctic 24 lifeboat Heather White was tasked at 4.33pm and launched to establish a tow. The lifeboat began to towing the casualty vessel towards the River Mersey, before Hoylake RNLI’s Shannon class lifeboat Edmund Hawthorn Micklewood and her volunteer crew were tasked at 5.26pm to take over the tow and bring the vessel into Liverpool.
Hoylake Lifeboat launched and headed to the scene, taking over the tow from Southport Lifeboat off Formby. A Hoylake RNLI crew member was also put on board the casualty vessel to monitor the towline and assist the yacht’s crew.
The lifeboat towed the casualty vessel back into the Queen’s Channel, with Southport Lifeboat remaining with the tow as far as Crosby before standing down and heading back for recovery.
Hoylake Lifeboat then proceeded up the River Mersey and towed the casualty vessel to the Brunswick Lock entrance of Liverpool Marina. Once the yacht was safely in the lock, Hoylake Lifeboat returned to the lifeboat station to be recovered and made ready for service again.
Keith Porter, Senior Coxswain of Southport Lifeboat, said: ‘When we arrived on scene with the casualty vessel there was a danger of her being blown ashore, which would have put her crew in significant danger. We were able to put one of our volunteer crew members aboard and get her safely under tow towards the River Mersey.’
‘We met Hoylake Lifeboat off the coast of Formby to hand over the tow and assisted them in getting one of their crew members onboard. We stayed alongside to offer support whilst navigating the bend of the Queen’s Channel, before leaving Hoylake Lifeboat to complete the journey to Liverpool Marina.’
Hoylake RNLI Coxswain Howie Owen said: ‘Working closely with our colleagues at Southport Lifeboat, together we were able to bring the casualty vessel and its crew back to the safety of Liverpool Marina. Mechanical failure is the single biggest cause of RNLI rescue call outs to sailing and motor cruisers. If you get into difficulty at sea, always call the Coastguard on VHF Channel 16 or by dialling 999 or 112.’