News : Three men rescued
Three men had to be rescued, on the 26th May, from a boat after being stranded on a dangerous sandbank near Southport as the tide went out.
They were in a three-metre RIB in the Ribble Estuary with no lights and no way of navigating. With no other way of communicating apart from two mobile phones, they luckily managed to get a signal and call the coastguard at around 9.45pm. They could not give their exact location, only that they were grounded “somewhere” between Lytham St Annes and Southport.
Ryan Garnett, 30, and two other men aged 42 and 47, all from Lytham St Annes, had to wave their mobile phones and lighters to attract attention.
Ryan, who told how they had taken the boat out for fun, said: “We got stuck near the sandbank and the water was really low, which was unexpected. It was very dark and cold. It was very worrying. I would just say to people to be on their guard. It’s quite a notorious stretch.”
Liverpool Coastguard dispatched the Southport and Lytham Coastguard teams to search for the boat along with the Merseyside Police helicopter. The coastguard teams used parachute flares to illuminate the area and identify which side of the Ribble the men were stranded.
Su Daintith, watch manager for Liverpool Coastguard, said: “As the men could not be certain as to which side of the River Ribble they were, coastguard rescue teams from Lytham and Southport were tasked.
“After firing white illuminating flares to try and locate them, Merseyside Police helicopter offered to assist in the search and located them approximately two nautical miles northwest of the old sandworks at Marshside.”
Southport Lifeboat deployed the two quad bikes and D Class lifeboat to reach the men. They got to them with the quad bikes and transferred them from their boat to the Southport Coastguard team and the ambulance on the shore at around midnight. One of the passengers who suffered hypothermia was transferred to Southport Hospital.
Keith Porter, senior Coxswain of Southport Lifeboat, said: “The tide was going out so there was not much chance of getting to them by boat so we had to use the quad bikes. They were very unprepared. There was no radio on the boat and no flares. They were not prepared for the area they were sailing in.”