"Busiest weekend ever" for Fleetwood and Knott End Coastguard crews

Coastguard crews in Fleetwood and Knott End say the weekend was one of their "busiest ever".

Monday, 19th July 2021, 10:27 am
Updated Monday, 19th July 2021, 10:33 am

HM Fleetwood said its team faced a relentless weekend of call-outs, including a four-hour search for a missing man in the sea near Rossall Beach on Saturday (July 17).

The team had been out dealing with cut-offs on the sandbanks when they picked up a call from police seeking their immediate assistance.

In a desperate bid to find the missing man, HM Coastguard enlisted the help of RNLI teams in Fleetwood and Blackpool, as well as the National Police Air Service and the MCA Coastguard Rescue Helicopter based in Anglesey, North Wales.

HM Fleetwood said its team faced a relentless weekend of call-outs, including a four-hour search for a missing man who sadly diedin the sea near Rossall Beach on Saturday (July 17). Pic credit: Dave Upton

Sadly, Fleetwood Coastguard found the man's body in low tide at around 9pm, close to where his distraught friends had reported him missing.

The tragedy came mid-way through an extremely busy weekend for the Coastguard on the Fylde Coast, with Fleetwood station manager Mark Sumner saying this was "probably the busiest weekend he had ever known".

A spokesman for HM Coastguard Fleetwood said: "It’s been the busiest weekend ever for our local Coastguard Rescue team, according to our station officer.

"On Sunday at 6.30am, the team was tasked to investigate an object in the water by Norbreck beach, but this was found to be a dead porpoise.

Fleetwood Coastguard station manager Mark Sumner said it was "probably the busiest weekend he had ever known", after his crew took part in a tragic search for a missing man who drowned at sea, as well as being tasked with lost children, people being cut-off by the tide, injuries and medical emergencies. Pic: Dave Upton

"It wasn’t until 12.55pm, when the next page came along, when it really started.

"From a missing five-year-old child, a person with possible back injuries, another person with possible hip injuries, providing advanced medical care to an unconscious casualty, as well as rescuing several groups of people from being cut off.

"Ourselves and Knott-End Coastguard Rescue Team jumped around from Blackpool to Fleetwood and back again.

"Using five rescue vehicles and up to twenty Coastguard rescue officers and our Area 15 Commander, we worked alongside other 999 services providing advanced medical assistance and rescue services to those in danger and distress along our coastline line."

The Fleetwood Coastguard crew joined forces with its flank teamfrom Knott End to cover the 10-miles of coast from Fleetwood to South Shore on a very busy weekend on the Fylde coast. Pic credit: Dave Upton

The crew joined forces with its flank team from Knott End to cover the 10-miles of coast from Fleetwood to South Shore.

The spokesman added: "Both teams worked effortlessly and supported each other throughout an extremely busy weekend, mostly with successful results, however, unfortunately, there was one sad and tragic conclusion to one of our incidents.

"Sunday ended at 7pm at Fleetwood Beach after we had the stand down following a search for an open water swimmer with nothing found."

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Man's body found on Fylde coast beach after five-hour sea search

Police have yet to confirm his identity, but he is thought to be a 29-year-old man from Bolton.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: "The circumstances are not thought to be suspicious and our thoughts are with the man's family at this time."

The tragedy was one of at least three deaths in North West waters over the weekend.

In Salford, a 19-year-old died after drowning in the Manchester Ship Canal at Salford Quays, whilst a teenager sadly drowned whilst cooling-off in a river near Carlisle.

You can read about these two incidents in our report here.

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